Mardi season is upon us, and while that may mean carnival masks, beads, parades, and other celebratory activities, we're really here for the food. Now is the perfect time to enjoy Cajun and Creole specialties as well as some classic cocktails.
What To Eat For Mardi Gras
We covered Oysters Rockefeller and Bananas Foster already, but there are so many more amazing dishes that you should be enjoying this week.
King Cake is the traditional dessert, and don't forget to hide a baby doll charm in the cake for a lucky friend or family member to find. We suggest using the green, yellow, and purple icing as well for extra festiveness. Beignets are another New Orleans classic that are also extremely appropriate for the holiday - or any time at all, really, because you never need an excuse for beignets.
Jambalaya or gumbo both make fantastic main dishes, and red beans and rice is a great side dish for pretty much everything on the Mardi Gras menu. Shrimp creole, etouffee, and so many other New Orleans are also great options for your Mardi Gras inspired menu.
No matter what you serve, keep things casual with a brunch or buffet style dinner, because this holiday is about having fun and letting loose. And don't forget the music! A little jazz, big band bass or zydeco, or funk can all get the party started.
Fat Tuesday = Cheat Day
On Fat Tuesday (February 28th this year), it's traditional to eat pancakes or paczkis - so it might be worth a cheat day to have a fabulous carb-laden breakfast. And besides, isn't Fat Tuesday the original cheat day, since it's the chance for one last indulgence before the austerity and fasting for Lent begins? Go for it.
And What To Drink
If you require a delicious beverage or two for Mardi Gras, look no further than a Sazerac - perhaps America's oldest cocktail - or a bright, fruity Hurricane or New Orleans frozen daiquiri. If you're in the mood for a challenge to pair with your cocktails, you can attempt to craft a Ramos Gin Fizz.
Whether or not you celebrate Mardi Gras or Carnivale with a big parade or party, you should at least enjoy the food! After all, the feasting might be the very best part!