A 1953 advertisement for CDM Coffee

To explain the prominence of sweet, rich Vietnamese coffee in New Orleans cafe culture we must first visit Vienna, Austria in the 17th century.

Preceding the famous Battle of Vienna in September of 1683, Franciszek Kulczycki, a Polish nobleman, soldier and future coffee merchant, traveled from Turkey where he was under the employ of the Austrian government as a diplomat and courier who aided communications between the two countries. Continue Reading

A 1919 advertisement for Davis Manufacturing Company’s TryMe line of products

In the summer of 1864, Woodruff and Company of Louisville, Kentucky, ran an ad in the local newspaper announcing that they had landed five cases of that most rare and exotic sundry of the day: Royal Bengal Tiger Sauce. This is the earliest mention that I can find of a “Tiger Sauce” being commercially available in the US. Continue Reading

The Village de l’Est neighborhood in New Orleans East

The exodus started in May 1975.

Following the fall of Saigon to the Communist North Vietnamese, 130,000 refugees were evacuated from South Vietnam.

Operation Frequent Wind, the largest boat and air lift in refugee history was a rousing success that would lead to 1.4 million Vietnamese émigrés resettling in the United States between 1975 and 1994.

The Gulf Coast South was a favored destination. Continue Reading

Wick Fowler (photo courtesy of the Wittliff Collections)

How did Wick Fowler, the best chili cook in Texas, manage to not win the first Terlingua Chili Championship back in 1967? According to his boon companion, Sidney Roper Weisiger, a south Texas journalist, it was because Wick left out the treasured ingredient of his youth: swamp rabbit.

At the dawn of the roaring twenties, Wick and his group of playmates contented themselves the way many small-town Texas boys did. When they weren’t in school they spent their days fishing, playing marbles and hunting small game. Victoria, where Wick grew up, had less than 6,000 residents. Continue Reading