Lagniappe, lay-GNAP: a Cajun-Creole word meaning a small gift given by a merchant to the buyer at the time of purchase, often of food.
Flipping through the most recent issue of Gastronomica, we noticed on the very last page is a section titled "Lagniappe." It wasn't a term we could remember hearing before.
We discovered that the word has roots in the Spanish and Quechua words for "gift" or "giving," and the practice of lagniappe originated in Louisiana. Reading through definitions and descriptions, we started to feel there was more to this practice than meets the eye.