We’ll get up bright and early Sunday morning to make our annual pilgrimage to St Gertrude The Great Catholic church in bustling downtown Des Allemands, Louisiana. It’s always fun taking a drive on the legendary Old Spanish Trail, and we’re often tempted to just keep right on going down the pike all the way to our old stomping grounds of Bandera, Texas, .
Don’t eat the po boys at the catfish festival. For some mystifying reason the cooks get up at dawn and start sandbagging catfish po boys with predictable results. A mushy, hours-old, fried catfish po boy is one of the least appetizing festival foods on earth.
Do get the white beans. St Charles Parish is the buckle of the white bean belt and the old timers that cook the food at St Gertrude have their recipe on lockdown. Add a fried catfish filet for a pittance and you have one of the finest plates of Louisiana food ever wrought.
It’s how they do it “down-the-bayou” and anytime you’re eating fried fish in Terrebonne, Lafourche, St. James, St Charles, and St. John the Baptist parishes you’re going to be offered white beans with your plate. Do not make the mistake of passing on them. My buddy Sergis Adams of Adams Fruit Market on Bayou Lafourche has fat sacks of young white beans that are terrific. We buy 5lb bags and store them in our freezer. They cook in a quarter of the time normal white beans do.
Final tip: the ladies of St Gertrude the Great are fine pastry cooks. They’ll have a big table of sweet treats on offer and each dessert costs $1. We load up on the ooey gooey as it’s the finest we’ve ever sampled.
Hope to see y’all at the festival.
Festival Address 17324 La. 631, Des Allemands, La. 70030