While in New Orleans we embarked on a Louisiana Plantation tour to view the monumental plantation homes that bring to mind the dark legacies of slavery prior to 1808 when international slave trading was banned in the United States.
We visited the Destrehan Plantation, located in southeast Louisiana. . The plantation was a major producer of indigo plants with the leaves and stems used to make blue dyes for soldiers’ uniforms.
Eventually, It went into sugarcane business. The French colonial-style mansion, the oldest plantation house in Louisiana, has furnishings of original furniture and heirlooms from the original Destrehan Family. Filmed here are some of the scenes from Hollywood movies – 12 Years A Slave, Interview With The Vampire: The V Chronicle, and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.
Another plantation house worth a visit is the Nottoway Plantation House, the largest in the South with 53,000 sq. ft. of floor space. Built in 1858, the Greek Revival and Italianate-style mansion is composed of 64 rooms, 7 staircases, and 5 galleries.
While in the Deep South the image of large oak and cypress trees cannot be ignored with the Spanish moss hanging off their branches. An epiphytic flowering plant that thrives on rain and fog, sunlight and airborne or waterborne dust and debris, the Spanish moss has been quite important to the economy of Louisiana. It has been used for various purposes including building insulation, binding mud or lay in building construction, mulch, packing material, mattress stuffing, and fibre. Automaker Henry Ford used the Spanish moss, its fluffy strands, for cushioning and insulating the seats in the first Model-T Fords!
A travel to New Orleans is undoubtedly a culinary adventure. No New Orleans trip is complete without a French-Creole meal at the classic of all classics restaurant at the famous St. Antoine’s located at 713 Saint Louis Street. Established in 1840 , celebrating its 180 years, it is the country’s oldest family-run restaurant. The restaurant, still owned and operated by fifth generation relatives of the original founder, Antoine Alciatore, is the birthplace of culinary classics like the Oysters Rockefeller named after John D. Rockefeller, the then-wealthiest American. Before feasting on one dozen broiled oysters on the half-shell topped with rich sauce of butter, parsley, other green herbs and bread crumbs, I dared to have the crocodile soup with its lightly fishy flavour. As I ate more of it I enjoyed it! My wife, Lita, enjoyed her Creole Jambalaya. For the traditional New Orleans dining with a dress code we went to the Galatoire’s, the most renowned restaurant in the historic Bourbon Street, the most famous street in New Orleans. Here we enjoyed the delicious gumbo (scalded crabs) and shrimp creole.
A New Orleans must-try is the “PoBoy”! The PoBoy is a crustry Hero sandwich stuffed full of Gulf shrimps or oysters and mayonnaise available year-round at Parkway Bakery & Tavern or at Domilie’s. You have to wash it down with the Obituary Cocktail. And of course, enjoy eating the popular “beignets” with café au lait at the “Cafe Du Monde” at Jackson Square.
Let’s keep on traveling for the Mardi Gras.