Saturday, August 2, 2008

Food facts from New Orleans

Po-boy Views
Phil LaMancusa
What else you don’t know
Where was Moses when the lights went out? (In the dark!)
“Hollywood created an era where prostitutes were made national heroines simply because they bedded well with some studio owners. Marriage was treated as a farce and divorce became a ticket for a whore to move from one house to another.”
Don’t take my word for it, that quote is taken verbatim from a book by a man (and his wife) named George Leonard Herter of Waseca, Minnesota.
The book; Bull Cook and Authentic Historical Recipes and Practices was first published in 1960 and had a number of successful reprints.
Other truisms that Mr. Herter propounds in his book are that menstruating women cannot and should not make mayonnaise (for it simply will not work).
Charemagne, who died in A. D. 814, invented sauerbraten.
Catherine De Medici who married Henry, King of France, “had three sons, two of whom were not all there mentally”. And furthermore, “Her face was not very good looking but she had beautiful legs(!!!). She invented women’s panties so that she could ride a horse with her skirts up high showing off her legs. Up until this time women wore no panties of any kind.”
Chow Mien and Chop Suey were “invented in San Francisco by a Greek named John Metaxa.”
‘Caesar Salad was invented by an Italian in Chicago, not a Mexican in Tijuana’.
You see? That’s how rumors get started!
At this point you will probably be asking yourself, ‘why is he telling me all this?’ (I know I would be). At which point I would answer you: ‘As a vehicle to your awareness, mon frere; you see, Mr. Herter, in his ground breaking tome, waxes profound on our fair city.’ And, as I know, Essence Festival is coming up (July 5-7) and there are going to be a lot of guests in town that you will be able to astonish and amaze with your inside information about our fair NOLA.
Be that as it may; before we explore new untohitherfore information about our city, let’s go back to the well for more examples of things Mr. Herter knew and we didn’t. This is straight up skinny, so, read on and learn.
*”In case of an atomic attack it would be important to know how to make jerky…”
*”Bat (Masterson) created a wiener sandwich…Everyone called it a Prairie Dog.” (think about it.)
*”If a human eats raw carp flesh for a week he will also die.”
*”Bull fighting is actually one of the safest ways to make a living in the world if you can stay sober.”
*…original onion soup contains no onions at all.”
*”The Indians of Mexico and Central America were the first to make spaghetti and tomato sauce.”
*All of the ones (gunfighters) of any note had blue eyes.”
*”A great many words used to describe recipes in French cooking mean nothing at all.”
*”The Virgin Mary, Mother of Christ was very fond of spinach.”
*”…I am sure that I am the first man who ever made a hamburger in Africa.”
*”One morning Oliver was eating a dish if cooked vegetables and fish. His pet cat had been drinking heavily. It jumped up on the table, lost its balance and knocked over a bottle of oil and vinegar, spilling both on Oliver’s plate. Oliver put the cat outside to sober up.” (On the birth of a dish called ‘Anti-Pasto”)
There’s plenty more but I need to get to ‘The New Orleans’ parts before I run out of room. Ready? Here we go!
*”You have to go a long ways to find Italian food like they serve in New Orleans. It is the worst I’ve ever eaten…”
*”Drunkenness is not a crime in New Orleans unless you get disorderly.”
*”If the Bourbon St. crowd, go into a bar and look up from their drinks and do not see, among other things, a couple of well formed breasts flopping around, the drink doesn’t taste just right and they move to another bar.”
*”…but his jailers released (Pierre Lafitte) him and he walked out into the alley… This alley has ever since been called Pirates Alley.”
*”… the word Nouvelle (used in Nouvelle Orleans) is a feminine word and …made him (the Duke) out as a complete fairy.”
*”One of the first and best foods Bienville taught the colonists to make was oyster loafs.”
*John McDonogh (whose $ built N.O. public schools) invented ‘Shut Your Mouth’ sandwich.
*”Probably the two most important things that were invented in New Orleans are the poor boy sandwich and the expression O.K.”
* J.E.B. STUART (General of Confederate Army) invented ‘Dirty rice’
*“In New Orleans a drink is served today called Café Brulot. It is of fairly recent origin and is simply a drink dreamed up to look fancy and clip the tourist for a fancy price.”
*”Dominique You (top lieutenant for Jean Lafitte)… is probably better known for the phrase he coined…’Les bonbons acceuillis, produisent leur effet, mais la liqueur travaille plus vita cet effet’ …(Candy is dandy but liquor is quicker).”
I could go on and on, but now it’s time for some real info to pass on to our Essence Festers..
*The City of New Orleans makes a lot of money ticketing and towing cars, there are also residents that make money breaking into them. Watch where you park.
*Everyone in New Orleans is working a hustle. A ‘hustle’ is here defined as a way to make money to support a habit, and habits can range from eating regularly to anything else imaginable. Peep the hustle before you cop to it.
*The City of New Orleans wants you here and wants you safe, so don’t do anything stupid like walk down dark streets to visit Armstrong Park after dark, wearing Mardi Gras beads and carrying your camera with your new best friend that you just met on Bourbon Street.
*The annual Essence Festival zeroes in on African-American-oriented forms of music while also providing highly attended “empowerment Seminars” that help educate and inform the African-American community. It’s something we all could use a dose of on a regular basis. Pass it on.
*Check out local attractions and buy local products from local purveyors, including local restaurants, bookshops, grocery stores and galleries.
*Have fun and we’ll see you at the Dome!!!

No comments: