A Taste of New Orleans

New Orleans' famous shrimp po' boy. Yum.

This morning I was reading a few articles about President Obama’s commemoration of the 5th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. The first family traveled to New Orleans where the President addressed Xavier University yesterday.

As the articles discussed the President’s official business in ‘The Big Easy,’ I found it interesting that most of them made it a point to mention the President’s lunch. His speech, visit to a local housing development and even meetings with hurricane survivors did not overshadow his sumptuous shrimp po’boy at Parkway Bakery & Tavern.

Why was the seafood sub such a big deal?

A few thoughts:

1.The strength of small businesses gives a fair read on the pulse of the economy, and a mom & pop restaurant sure looks hopeful and healthy when you have the President as a patron.  Plus, it’s exciting for locals!

2. Food = comfort, especially during hard times.

3. Identity is often linked to food. What better way to affirm a recovering community than to chow down on a traditional meal that represents what New Orleans is about?

In fact, The Times-Picayune recently ran an article about how Hurricane Katrina affected the New Orleans food culture.

Item #3 on the list: Locals’ Appreciation for Food Deepened.

The article quotes a director of a New Orleans non-profit as saying, “In a very intense, concentrated space of time, people found out what really mattered to them. Food became the most important rituals of our lives.”

Item #8 on the list: New Orleanians began cooking all over the country.

This point was most interesting to me since NPR just ran a segment that featured a displaced New Orleanian. Patrick Wooten and his family were air lifted to shelter when their neighborhood of Algiers flooded during the hurricane. They’ve permanently relocated to Plymouth, MA where Patrick now works as a chef at The Salvation Army. Though the setting is a lot different than New Orleans, Patrick keeps in touch with his Cajun roots by serving up home cooking at The Salvation Army kitchen. If he can’t be in New Orleans, what a great way serve others and bring New Orleans to them!

What's for dinner tonight? Try this dirty rice recipe from our own Salvation Army chef.

Lucky for us, Patrick shared with NPR his Dirty Rice recipe that he made on Sunday to remember the 5th anniversary of Katrina. I’m including it below for anyone who’d like a New Orleans culinary lesson:



1 pound ground beef
1/2 pound Andouille sausage
1/2 pound ham steak, cubed
2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
1 bell pepper, diced
2 celery stalks, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
Worcestershire sauce
Uncle Ben’s white rice


  • Brown the meat until beef is no longer pink.
  • Add Worcestershire sauce.
  • Remove meat from pan and saute vegetables in the leftover oil.
  • Add cooked rice and more Worcestershire sauce to taste.
  • While it cooks down, “sit and wait like a pit bull.”

Read how The Salvation Army has been providing relief to the Gulf Coast in our report “Hurricane Katrina: 5 Years On.”

4 Comments on “A Taste of New Orleans

  1. I would like to express thanks to you for bailing me out of this particular challenge. Just after searching throughout the world wide web and finding suggestions which are not pleasant, I thought my life was gone. Being alive minus the solutions to the problems you’ve fixed through your main short post is a critical case, and the kind that might have in a negative way damaged my career if I had not come across your blog post. Your personal ability and kindness in playing with the whole thing was precious. I’m not sure what I would’ve done if I had not discovered such a step like this. I can at this point relish my future. Thanks so much for this skilled and amazing help. I won’t be reluctant to refer your web blog to anybody who needs to have guidance on this area.

  2. I just saw something about this on television. It talked the same things you wrote about.

    I go to university in Canada and we just learned about this in our class.

    Thank you for helping me with the last little bit of my report.

    Thanks for the outline of television stuff.
    I definitely think that cable tv is going to go away.
    Or at least have to change with the times.
    Online tv is definitely the wave of the future. As broadband speeds get faster, people will
    be watching their tv shows on sites like this.
    What does anybody know about this? I think there’s a lot
    more to the concept
    I was just watching this on television yesterday.
    They talked about the same things you wrote about.

    Also visit my web blog free tv for free – Paulina -

  3. At just first i didn’t believe that i got the expertise
    to employ on top of anything similar to this by myself.

    At this time it appears practical.

    Here is my webpage: How To Clean Heating Ducts (google.com)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>