Locomotoring

Seven continents, seven seas, seven billion people and seven thousand good eats …

Beignets of New Orleans

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Cafe Du Monde

Cafe Du Monde @ Night

If you come to Cafe Du Monde in the morning, the place is like a zoo. You have to watch seated customers to catch for signs of a table about to be vacated – people taking their last beignet bite, wiping their mouths of the traces of the powdery white sugar. Then you rush to the still warm chairs and wait for your turn for the table to be cleared. The mostly Vietamese staff won’t pay any attention to your energetic gestures. Their coming and going will make little sense. Your turn will come when they are ready for you.

In the meantime, you can watch other customers. A mom taking a break from her hectic day with a plate of beignets, reading a magazine with one eye and watching her child sleep in the pram with other. A group of old friends or perhaps sisters, getting together for a chat, with what seems like several servings of beignet for each. And hoards of tourists.

Beignets

Beignets

They only serve beignets and coffee at Cafe Du Monde. Beignet here is like a crisp savory doughnut that is topped with a mound of icing sugar. Don’t inhale your beignets or the icing sugar will give you a coughing fit. A bite into a beignet brings home a faint pork fat taste. Traditionally fried in pork fat, the cafe kitchen has long since moved to vegetable oil sources. But the 150 year old taste of pig fat from the fryers still linger. Or perhaps it is the air of New Orleans that swirls around volatile compounds from pork fat, carrying them from one kitchen to another. Coffee is a scalding hot liquid with traces of chicory in it. It’s only use is to cleanse your mouth of the sugar and oils.

Late night is an entire different story. You can certainly find the yourself to be one of the few customers. The wait staff is the younger smart phone generation. You have to wait slightly longer for your beignet but otherwise nothing changes. Sounds of a whaling sax or a throaty gospel singer will reach your ears. A string of horse drawn carriages line up opposite and you may hear or smell the horses. The sidewalk astronomer with his reflector telescope will meet you on most nights. He doesn’t look anything like his web-photos these days.

Beignets of New Orleans are a must have. But beignets are not born equal so, watch where you ask for a plate of these.

Written by Som

May 20, 2011 at 8:03 pm

Posted in Louisiana, New Orleans, USA

Tagged with ,

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