Mardi Gras, aka "Fat Tuesday," is like any other highly-anticipated holiday of the year — only better. Not everyone can say they love the gift-giving spirit of Christmas, spooky air of Halloween, or eat-till-you-drop traditions of Thanksgiving. The chances of meeting someone who doesn't crack an all-teeth smile at the thought of booze buckets, fried foods, and hot weather in New Orleans, Louisiana, are slim to none — and these 23 Louisiana-style Mardi Gras recipes are sure to be crowd-pleasers no matter what crowd you run with this year.
Originating as far back as 1699, Mardi Gras began as a small celebration marked by lavish dinners, which quickly evolved into street parties, masked balls, colorful costumes, and dancing. Despite its many evolutions over the decades, however, the one true tradition of the holiday remains: epic feasts.
Sure, every holiday is celebrated with classic spreads of a roasted bird and endless sides of vegetables, starches, and a finale of delectable desserts. When you take the spirit of a holiday, though, and you marry it to the wealth of French-, Spanish-, and West African-inspired cuisines in New Orleans, Louisiana, nothing compares. Southern comfort food could be considered timeless cuisine, never failing those with a craving or need to eat their feelings, and the culinary culture of Louisiana encapsulates just that.
So, whether you're hosting a traditional Mardi Gras feast, or you're inspired to throw down in the kitchen for a party of one this Fat Tuesday, here are 23 Louisiana-inspired recipes.