Sunday dawned bright and clear but the damage had already been done. New Orleans politicos had worked our town’s populace into a lather over Tropical Storm Nate, and all the Sunday activities we live for had been cancelled due to the coming apocalypse that never came.
Time to head to Lafourche Parish for the 2017 Festival of Old Times aka “La Fete des Vieux Temps” in Raceland.
We had the time of our lives at last year’s festival hanging out with old time hog killing man Rodney Cheramie at the festival’s big boucherie.
Lafourche Parish is one of the original 19 parishes of Louisiana created in 1807, and is one of the best eating regions in the entire state. Folks down here live for food, and if you ever get the opportunity to visit the area do so and come hungry. You won’t leave that way.
We’re completely starving by the time we make our way to the massive food pavilion. Rural pricing is in effect at La Fete des Vieux Temps as a generous shrimp po boy is all of $8. Dressed at this party means lettuce and tomato. If you want mayo the powers that be have trucked in some weird Sysco packets of a mayo-like substance that features corn syrup as the main ingredient.
This ain’t Blue Plate country and Duke’s suddenly feels a million miles away.
Roughly 30 shrimps have been dredged in flour and flash fried in clear oil before being stuffed into a fluffy white flour roll. This is not a New Orleans-style po boy by any measure but it is a fine, rural take on the genre.
A bowl of gumbo arrives and its inclusion of rice immediately sows confusion in our crew as Lafourche is potato salad in gumbo-country. The baffled cashier relates that several other people were also stunned that no potato salad is on offer. He murmurs that perhaps next year that matter will be rectified.
The local fire department is in charge of the cracklings and they are a good value at only $5 for a hefty paper sack filled with fried-out hog fat.These are the fluffy, south Louisiana-style cracklings and are radically different than the sort you get at places like T-Jim’s up in Cottonport.
It is said that once you drink the water of Bayou Lafourche you will always return, and surely we will.
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My Venmo is @Russell-Reeves-6 if you’d like to make a small contributionAny readers from Lafourche Parish? Where should we eat next time we run out that way?