Like every holiday in Louisiana, Mardi Gras is all about the food. While Fat Tuesday itself is just one day, celebrations and parades go on for weeks beforehand in New Orleans and other cities. Mardi Gras is the time of festivity and feasting leading up to Lent (the 40-day period of fasting and abstaining before Easter Sunday) so it’s customary to celebrate with pull-out-the-stops meals and plenty of King Cake.
My mom is originally from South Louisiana and I lived for a time in the state, so I grew up eating Creole and Cajun classics like étouffée, gumbo, jambalaya, and Gulf shrimp served every which way — especially boiled and dipped in remoulade sauce and fried and stuffed into a po’ boy. The collection of recipes I’ve gathered here includes some of my favorite Cajun and Creole classics, some other dishes I love to eat whenever I visit Louisiana, and some Fat Tuesday recipes like beignets, of course!