5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.
Laissez les bons temps rouler! Eatocracy is in New Orleans this week getting ready for the second edition of our Secret Supper. We'll be sharing the people, purveyors and places that make this such a significant food town, and hope you'll join in with your questions, memories, restaurant suggestions and general bonhomie.
(Editors' Note: We originally ran this piece on August 29, 2010 - the five-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Given our current locale, we deemed it worth revisiting.)
To pay our own culinary tribute to the New Orleans spirit, we rounded up a celebrated group of people from all walks of Louisiana's living tradition to share their own stories on why the region's food culture should not - and will never be - washed away.
Five Reasons to Eat in Louisiana
It's something, but it's not the real thing, Coca-Cola says.
Rumors have been buzzing that the super-secret recipe for the iconic soft drink had finally been divulged through a 1979 newspaper clipping and a story on public radio's "This American Life."
"Rest assured that while many third parties have tried over time to crack the secret formula of Coca-Cola ... there truly is only one 'real thing,' " Ted Ryan, Coca-Cola's manager of archives and exhibits, wrote Wednesday on a company blog.
The company insists the formula is locked in a bank vault in Atlanta, Georgia, and only a handful of employees know it or have access to it.
Read the rest of "Is Coca-Cola's secret out of the bottle?" on CNN's This Just In blog.
"Where there is nuance, there is disagreement - and New Orleans food is very nuanced."
"Well, you've gotta have sh*t to talk about at the bar!"
Over at my pal Pableaux Johnson's house for Monday night red beans and rice, I laid my shame bare to the assembled crowd. I'd gotten smacked down on Twitter earlier that day for posting a photograph of the obviously warmed-up muffuletta sandwich I'd had for lunch.
Said the smashing Francis Lam (who's the editor of Salon Food and who's spent a goodly chunk of time in the Big Easy) "Argh! The warm muff!" and then "I just can't countenance a warm muffuletta, though I understand it has its fans."
Food writer and recent Brooklyn-to-New Orleans transplant Brett Martin piled on, "Hear, hear! I'll go further and say Ctrl Grocery or nothing."
I've got no problem admitting I don't know something - especially about food. It's a chance to learn. But, in a city like this where passions run to the frenzied, there are some things worth getting as close to right as possible.
To wit: po' boy, po-boy, po-boy, poor boy, peaux boy? Whaddaya call the French bread sandwich typically filled with fried seafood or roast beef and gravy? There are precedents for each; you lean toward which?
August 29 marks the eighth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. We're sharing this piece again as a love letter to the people who never gave up on New Orleans.
The young man with the broad, gold-capped smile slammed the van door and picked up the microphone. "My name is Anthony, and I'll be your shuttle driver today. If this is your first time in New Orleans, there is one thing you need to know: eat all the food you can. You cannot go wrong with that."
Perhaps it's possible to find someone within the New Orleans city limits who is neutral on the subject of food – agnostic on the provenance of the city's best po-boy (or for that matter, how to spell it) and content with a frozen burrito on a Monday night when by all means they ought to be having red beans and rice. Chances are they just haven't been in town long enough for a local to set them straight, lead them by the hand to a proper coffee shop or sno-ball stand and then maybe on over to the house for Friday night gumbo.
Don't worry about them – it'll happen, because goodness, do New Orleanians love to talk…and argue……and educate…and opine about food. It's who they are, and what has kept them going, even when their very way of life was in danger of being swept away forever.
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