While the musical performances and art installations may be the focal point of Festival International, the food is also a big part of the cultural celebration. From April 24 – 28, festival-goers will have access to an amazing offering of Louisiana cuisine that is sure to please any palate.
Food is a huge part of southern Louisiana culture, and food vendors at Festival International bring their best local eats, often with a global infusion, to share Acadiana culture with global visitors. Here are five can’t-miss eats at Festival this year.
Sweet Potato Beignets
Poor Boy’s Riverside Inn serves up its own take on a New Orleans-staple food – the beignet. These sweet potato beignets are bite-sized and perfect for snacking and sharing. The sweet butter dipping sauce is the proverbial “icing on the cake” for this you-don’t-want-to-miss-it food item at Festival International. Your mouth will thank you!
Crawfish Spinach Boat
Bon Creole’s crawfish spinach boat has become a Festival International icon with thousands being sold each year. Just in case you haven’t heard of it, this devilishly-delicious dish is a bread bowl that is overfilled with a cream-based crawfish-and-spinach dip that you eat with a spoon (or your hands if you are brave enough to get messy). A trip to Festival wouldn’t be complete without eating this Acadiana-area culinary masterpiece.
If there is one item not to be missed at Festival International it is Poupart Bakery’s shrimp friant. This mouth-watering item from one of the area’s legendary establishments will not disappoint. Fresh Louisiana shrimp is sauteed in etouffee sauce and then wrapped in homemade puff pastry. It’s the perfect eat-on-the-go food for any Festival goer.
When most people think fried seafood, they think fried fish, fried shrimp and fried oysters. Few think fried alligator, but it is one of the best fried-seafood experiences. Lagneaux’s is bringing this delicious dish to Festival International, and it should be on top of your list of food items to try. Tender strips of marinated alligator are deep fried to perfection. These tender morsels of unexpected goodness from a swamp creature will make you glad you stepped out of your comfort zone.
You don’t have to be able to say it correctly to order it. Local seafood restaurant Norbert’s will know what you are asking for as long as you get close. A south Louisiana staple, boudin is one of those foods that can make you say both “Hm?” and “Mmmmm!” If you aren’t familiar with boudin, it is basically a mixture of rice and seasoned meat (usually, but not always, pork) stuffed into a pork casing. It sounds simple, and it is. But it’s the simplicity that is delicious!
While food may not be the focal point of Festival International, it is a strong part of Louisiana culture. That’s why over 25 vendors come out to showcase their best dishes. And these five items are some of the top local favorites that anyone venturing to Acadiana should try.