Many traditional dishes from Louisiana are served during Mardi Gras, including gumbo, crawfish. po-boy sandwiches and king cake, all of which are popular in the region. Gumbo is an iconic dish in the city of New Orleans.
Gumbo was named after the African word for okra, which is a common ingredient found in this stew. Various types of meat and seafood can be used in a gumbo, including chicken, sausage, shrimp, crab and duck. Classic gumbo is created with a homemade roux and is seasoned with garlic, onion, celery and bell peppers. Tomatoes and okra are often added as well. Gumbo is often served with rice, but Cajuns also eat the stew with a side of potato salad.
Another food served at Mardi Gras is crawfish etouffee. Crawfish is used in a variety of New Orleans cuisine. Jambalaya and red beans and rice are additional dishes that are popular during Mardi Gras. Jambalaya can be made with sausage, chicken, crab or shrimp and is served with rice.
Louisiana's signature sandwich is the po-boy which is served on French bread and overstuffed with meat, cheese and toppings. Bananas Foster and beignets are favorite desserts served during Mardi Gras.
The king's cake has been part of Mardi Gras for 300 years. The cake is frosted with the traditional Mardi Gras colors of green, purple and yellow. A small plastic baby is hidden in the cake, and the person who finds the baby has special privileges.