by Elyse Moore
New Orleans food is as delicious as the less criminal forms of sin. –Mark Twain
Many have written of the food and passion of New Orleans. The nearly tropical climate, diverse culture and tumultuous history of the Big Easy make this a rich destination for various manifestations of carnal delight. Whether you prefer the raucous, public exploitations of Carnivale festivities, or to be quietly tucked away with your honey and a half dozen beignets in the alley behind Cafe du Monde, the streets of New Orleans have a sensual experience to be found around every corner. (Though, I promise you, there’s actually no where in New Orleans you can be quietly tucked away today…)
For those of us who love, and who love New Orleans, this is our week, and here’s some aphrodisi-tastic ideas for what to eat today, on Valentine’s Day, or any day you’re feeling like you know what it means to miss New Orleans.
Scientists actually tout oysters to contain a rare amino acid that can get your juices flowing (and we don’t mean just salivating over their deliciousness). Slurp these puppies raw, or get your oil bubbling and fry up some Fried Oyster Po’Boys for lunch, NOLA-style.
Unfortunately, strawberries aren’t in season in the Midwest for Valentine’s Day, but if you happen to be in New Orleans (where it’s 70 degrees today) you can pick up fresh Louisiana strawberries at the Crescent City Farmers Market in Mid-City this afternoon. Add a Cajun twist by dipping your strawberries in spiced caramel dip and toasted pecans for a Frenchman St. Strawberry "Praline Pecan". Spice up your favorite caramel dip with cinnamon, nutmeg, black pepper and a pinch of cayenne.
In limited quantities, a little libation can loosen your libido. Rum is famous to New Orleans, where sugar cane has been grown plentifully for centuries. Did you know that New Orleans is host to the oldest rum distillery in the continental US? Start your night right with the Carousel Lounge & Bar's Criollo cocktail.
1.25oz Old New Orleans Cajun Spice Rum
1/4 oz agave nectar
3 wedges fresh lemon (try meyer lemons in the winter for a softer flavor)
3-4 fresh mint leaves
4 oz club soda
Place Lemon Wedges, Agave Nectar and Mint Leaves in a 14 oz. Collins style glass. Muddle to release the essence of the mint and to release the juice from the lemon. Fill the glass with ice, top with Old New Orleans Cajun Spice Rum and Club Soda, and garnish with a Lemon Wedge and a Mint Sprig.