Photo Credit: Denny Culbert
If you’re anything like our staff at The Best Stop Supermarket, you’ve got one thing on your mind come the start of the new year—Mardi Gras. It’s the best time of the year (sorry, Santa!)
It doesn’t matter if you’re here with us in South Louisiana, or if you’re a nostalgic ex-pat. We use e-commerce to ensure that Mardi Gras enthusiasts nationwide are fed and happy with the peerless taste of Cajun cuisine. Below, you will find a breakdown of the most delectable and historical Cajun dishes, as well as some tips on how to make them yourself. Let’s get right into it.
The most well-known item on a Mardi Gras menu is King Cake. This delicious cinnamon confection can be eaten for breakfast or dessert during Mardi Gras season. King Cake traditionally is a cinnamon bread twisted into a ring and drizzled with Mardi Gras-themed icing in purple, green and gold. In addition to the traditional cinnamon, King Cakes come in a variety of flavors with fillings ranging from chocolate, to raspberry, to pecan praline and even pepper jelly cream cheese!. A small plastic baby is hidden in the cake with the one to find it either winning a prize or the task of providing the next king cake for the group.
Dark Roux Gumbo
Gumbo is Louisiana’s trademark dish and is as iconic a mascot for Mardi Gras as parades and beads. It’s also one of the most authentic and distinctly Cajun meals out there.
This is a dish for the whole family. Before you get started, though, you need to know some crucial facts. Roux is integral to making authentic gumbo, used to thicken the dish and give its rich, dark flavor: you’ll need oil, flour, time and a good roux spoon to produce an authentic style of the dish. Or just grab a jar of Savoie’s from The Best Stop if you’re in a hurry. Check out our blog on making gumbo gold for more tips!
Add in some of our andouille sausage and marinated chicken and you’ve got yourself a trademark Cajun staple. Likewise, you aren’t making gumbo without plenty of steamed rice and a creamy potato salad. Hint: top it all with The Best Stop seasoning!
You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more beloved Cajun Mardi Gras treat than fresh, hot boudin links. Made with ground specialty pork and a bit of liver, fresh onions and peppers with Louisiana rice, these traditional to-go Cajun snacks stick to the ribs and are delicious when paired with a piece of king cake and a beer along the parade route. Try some of our smoked boudin or our mini party links for easy-to-go snacking. If there’s any dish that screams “South Louisiana,” it’s boudin, and it’s from The Best Stop.
Turtle soup is yet another hallmark of Mardi Gras. While the unaccustomed may not be used to using turtles as a protein, we assure you, there’s nothing quite like this silky, rich soup, heightened with a splash of sherry. South Louisiana has made an art of this particular dish. You can also customize it to your particular tastes. Spicy, sweet, sour, whatever—Turtle Soup is a uniquely versatile dish that delivers an authentic Cajun taste regardless of spices.
If you hadn’t noticed, Cajun cuisine is quite fond of pork. And for good reason: it’s delicious, affordable, and closely intertwined with the culture’s history. Not all Mardi Gras meals need to be sit-down productions, however. Cracklins from The Best Stop are portable, zesty, and addictive. Grab a bag and enjoy the parades, or get them shipped to you and heat to perfection in the oven for 15 minutes.
Mardi Gras is one of the most wonderful experiences your taste buds can have, and The Best Stop Supermarket has everything you need to make it an amazing experience. It doesn’t matter if you want to replicate one of the mouth-watering dishes we’ve talked about here or want to get experimental with your Cajun cuisine—we’ve got just what you need.
Our online store ships all over the country, so locals, ex-pats, and Mardi Gras first-timers are all welcome. Make this coming holiday season a special one with a little (or a lot) of old-fashioned Cajun spice. See y’all at the parades!