Archive for the ‘Louisana’ Category

Etouffee, Gumbo, Boudin,Po-Boy, Andouille, Roux, Maque choux?

Friday, April 30th, 2010
We arrived in Abbeville Louisiana on Tuesday and have tried everyone of these local foods!  I can’t decide which is my favorite.  They also use some really great spices – “Slap yo Mama” is very popular and adds a lot of flavor to most anything.

Our first night we went to a local eatery called “Chucks”, not like the name but like chucking corn.  A nice little place where we had Gumbo & Crawfish Etouffee.  The Gumbo was like a brown soup with rice and seafood – ok but the Etouffee is to die for!  Of course it is good, it has lots of cream and some great spices,thick & creamy with fresh crawfish pieces over rice – Yummy.

Our second meal was Crawfish Pie -Etouffee over pastry instead of rice and some catfish!  This goes on for 4 days while we are staying in Abbeville which is a small town in the Vermilion Parish about 150 miles west of New Orleans.  We chose this town because of an RV park we had heard about and wanted to check it out.  Betty’s RV Park where the hostess, Betty has happy hour everyday at 4:30 pm – my kind of place.  The park was everything we hoped for and a perfect place to park while we enjoyed the local flavor.

A swamp tour wasn’t about food at all.  Bryan Champagne’s Swamp Tours is all about getting up close and personal with the creatures that live in a swamp.  A swamp is just what you think it is, a wet, dark, muddy area that is the overflow from a Bayou.  What is a Bayou? A stream or creek off the main river or lake. 

Lake Martin - Looks harmless, but just wait!

We went onto the lake but quickly Bryan, our guide quickly turned left and we were in another world.  The good news is as he told us, you do not need life jackets because where we are going the water is at most 1-2 feet deep, you can walk out – I DON’T THINK SO!!!


Beautiful by day.....

Closer to a swamp

Dragon Flies keep mosquitos out of the swamps - For real!!

Cute little turtles

There were lots of turtles sunning themselves but as soon as our little boat got within 30 feet they were off swimming.  There were lots of birds in the bayou & swamps but our favorites had to be the Alligators!  They are not afraid of the boats at all – infact it seemed like a game to them.

They look so harmless

A small one- 6 feet

12 Feet +

No! i am not using a zoom lens - he is about 3 feet away!

Right after this little guy swam away Bryan our guide informs us the boat is stuck on a log and we are stuck!  Someone may have to get in the water and push us off – kidding, we just had to all move to the side of the boat where the alligator was  and hopefully that will dislodge the log.  The good news is we didn’t fall in and the boat again floated so we could be on our way.  The scary part of this whole thing is that Alligator was about as long as our little aluminum boat was and there were 12 tourists that had to get the photo at all costs!

That was enough excitement and we are back to the food tour!!!   We ate in places that looked really scary but had awesome food; places were not big enough to call a restaurant; and places that were in the middle of nowhere.  We ate food like peanut butter balls (very much like homemade Reese’s); fried shrimp po-boys; platters of crawfish that you order by the pound and have to extract the tail.  We have a freezer full of fresh off the boat shrimp and Boudin (meat sausage with rice). 

No menu - are you kidding? Everyone just orders Crawfish - you want 3.5 lbs or 5 lbs?

Nowhere to sit but the Boudin is the best in the Parish

You know it is good when the parking lot is full and it is in the middle of nowhere!

Right next to the town of Abbeville is New Ibernia, the town made famous by TABASCO Pepper Sauce.  We had a tour of the factory as well as tasting such goodies as jalepeno ice cream!  Very interesting.  We also visited the oldest Rice mill that still produces a million pounds of rice each year.  The coolest thing there was they had cats everywhere, all sizes and colors to keep the rat population away from the rice. 

This was a great stop on our way East and we will be back to see Betty and enjoy her hospitality and all the great food!  Next stop New Orleans.