Culinary Bucket List: Chicory Coffee

One of the horrors of my life so far is that I haven’t been to New Orleans. Nope, I’ve never strolled the French Quarter past the wrought-iron trellises as jazz wafts through the air. And now I’m way too old and modest to road trip to Mardi Gras to drink hurricanes, flash my goods for beads and stumble around Bourbon Street. I kind of regret that I didn’t visit before Katrina, though now the city gets to show off its pluck and battle scars, which can only give it more character.

I’ve always thought New Orleans would have the same sensibility as Savannah, since they share deep historical roots, stifling humidity, a dark undercurrent of voodoo and mysticism and a general style of “elegant decay.” This is shameful to admit, but a lot of what I know about New Orleans is only pieced together from scenes in The Pelican Brief, those Zatarain’s commercials or The Real World: New Orleans. But I hear it’s a great foodie town. And that brings me to the next item on my culinary bucket list.

Today’s Eatocracy blog has a nice roundup on traditional New Orleans fare, and there are a lot of things listed that I’ve never eaten. I’ve never tasted true filé gumbo, sucked the brains out of a crawdad, enjoyed a shrimp po’ boy or a mouth-searing dish of jambalaya. I am confounded by something called étouffée, but I do enjoy saying it over and over again. Of all those foodie experiences though, my number one goal is to someday enjoy a cup of chicory coffee. Keep reading »