February 16th, 2011
09:30 AM ET
Share this on:

August 29 marks the eighth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. We're sharing this piece again as a love letter to the people who never gave up on New Orleans.

The young man with the broad, gold-capped smile slammed the van door and picked up the microphone. "My name is Anthony, and I'll be your shuttle driver today. If this is your first time in New Orleans, there is one thing you need to know: eat all the food you can. You cannot go wrong with that."

Perhaps it's possible to find someone within the New Orleans city limits who is neutral on the subject of food – agnostic on the provenance of the city's best po-boy (or for that matter, how to spell it) and content with a frozen burrito on a Monday night when by all means they ought to be having red beans and rice. Chances are they just haven't been in town long enough for a local to set them straight, lead them by the hand to a proper coffee shop or sno-ball stand and then maybe on over to the house for Friday night gumbo.

Don't worry about them – it'll happen, because goodness, do New Orleanians love to talk…and argue……and educate…and opine about food. It's who they are, and what has kept them going, even when their very way of life was in danger of being swept away forever.

Food is the lingua franca of New Orleans. Says Richard McCarthy, executive director of the organization that oversees the local farmers markets, "If you're stuck in an elevator here, you could make conversation with anyone about one of the three Fs: food, fishing and football." The Saints and seafood may be seasonally relegated, but there is always something cooking.

"Here in New Orleans, we hear a great deal about good eating; our enthusiasm for food is unending. A familiar scene in New Orleans restaurants is a table laden with spectacular food surrounded by New Orleanians eating happily while already planning their next meal," wrote cookbook author Rima Collin in her 1975 introduction to "Brennan's 417 Royal St.: A Souvenir Cookbook." The statement - and the restaurant - still stand.

McCarthy attributes a certain amount of that intrinsic passion to the city's ethnic underpinnings and cultural Catholicism. "Fusion before fusion" is how he refers to Creole cooking. While the French made it their mission to maintain canonical cooking practices in the region, Spanish, African, Indian and other influences began to meld with it and form an entirely new cuisine. The Catholic calendar, along with the progression of the seasons, defined times for food-based rituals and celebration.

On Fridays between Twelfth Night and Fat Tuesday, no matter the secular or non-secular nature of a school, often there will be King Cake. Children learn to bite down gently so as not to chip a tooth on the small baby figure that may or may not be baked into their slice. The lucky recipient of the baby is crowned as royalty for the day and bears his or her prize home proudly to parents who might be less enthused; they're on the hook for providing the next week's King Cake.

This, needless to say, does not happen many other places in the country. As McCarthy puts it, these New Orleans food traditions transmute into the "rhythm of who and where you are."

Radio host, culinary activist and cooking teacher Poppy Tooker attributes the city's food fixation to catholic tastes – in the lower-case sense of the word. "It transcends gender and race," she says.

"You walk down the street and you hear everyone talking about what they ate and where they got it. It might be a group of women. It could be a bunch of businessmen talking about the meat they shot and how they're going to cook it. It's just everybody."

People in New Orleans are passionate preservationists of their city's food history, for it is a massive part of what has sustained them. Coming in as a first time visitor, it's impossible not to notice in the structures and the statements: every event is couched as "before the storm" and "after the storm." Bustling new eateries – more than 300 of them established in the past five years – abut grand dining halls that have served up pommes soufflé, Oysters Rockefeller and shrimp remoulade for over a century.

Tooker refers to these restaurants – Galatoire's, Arnaud's, Antoine's and the like – as "living food museums." Says she, "In France, they'd forgotten about some of these dishes. They're oddities. We'd never stopped making them."

She continued, "The average New Orleanian is only happy if she walks into one of these places and the Trout Meuniere and ideally even the waiter are the same as when she used to come in with her grandmother. Everything has to remain the same. You end up with a perfectly preserved food culture."

And yet these living, lively culinary artifacts and new ventures coexist with buildings and entire neighborhoods that still sit derelict after Hurricane Katrina. The residents live among, as Richard McCarthy says, "complicated layers of decay – the marvelous ghosts and tragic ones."

What's the first thing you grab when the floodwaters are rising and you don't know when or if you'll ever see your home again? Many people didn't get a chance to make that decision, and many never made it out. Despite the city's intrinsic connection with food, very few people's first inclination was to stash a suitcase full of family recipes, comb-bound cookbooks and New Orleans-specific ingredients. They were just happy to get out alive.

Those who did, waited. Disallowed entry back into the city for many weeks, and unsure what damage might greet them upon return, many residents sought shelter elsewhere and hungered for home.

Lu Brow, a cocktail book author and bar chef at the Swizzle Stick Bar at Loews Hotel, took refuge with her family in Shreveport, Louisiana, for six weeks. Bereft of routine – or anything else – and in terrible fear of being a burden, she had a hot dinner and cold cocktails on the table for them every night. "I had to have something," she said. She cooked her childhood favorites, like brisket with roux gravy, chicken and dumplings and endless red velvet cakes and pies for them. They loved it. Still, she knew she had to go back and dreaded telling her ailing, elderly father that she was going back to the unknown of post-flood New Orleans.

"I know you are," he told her. He gave her a $2 bill he'd been carrying in his wallet since 1922 saying, "I didn't raise a quitter."

Poppy Tooker did not take kindly to exile either. She and her family, who had been staying with family in Baton Rouge, fought their way back into the city as soon as they were able, and she sprang into action. She and Richard McCarthy collaborate closely on the Crescent City Farmers Market. It was founded, in large part, as an homage to the New Orleans markets that in the 1800s were, on any given day, home to over 400 fruit, vegetable, game and seafood vendors from every corner of the globe.

In 2005, however, the market had become a nexus for several dozen local farmers, fishermen, bakers and food artisans as well as a deep cross-section of the population who relied on the vendors for fresh, affordable food. It closed on August 27, as the city was hearing its first warnings about the storm that was bearing down on the Gulf Coast, and McCarthy and Tooker tried desperately to communicate with their vendors to see if they had made it through.

An e-mail came through from Kay Brandhurst, the market's "Shrimp Girl." She, her husband Ray and their four children had made it out, but they had lost their home and their boat – which was their livelihood. She asked not for aid, but for work. She got a miracle.

Members of the Slow Food movement from across the country banded together to provide sweat labor, PR muscle and financial assistance. On Tuesday, November 22, when the Crescent City Market reopened, shoppers returned and hugged the stuffing out of Brandhurst, who was there with a truck loaded up with fresh shrimp for her customers' Thanksgiving feasts.

It has not been an easy haul for Brandhurst and her family. Left homeless after the storm, the six of them lived crammed into a one-bedroom apartment above a pain clinic, with a daily 4 a.m. journey to pick up the night's haul, get the fuel for the boats and get the kids to school. She did her best to maintain her family's morale, but it wasn't easy.

"There just wasn't much open, even if there wasn't any damage," Brandhurst says of the local markets. "There was a Save A Center nearby, but it was eerie and creepy and they didn't have much. There was never a 'so what do you feel like eating?'"

Respite finally came one day. "We were dying for fried shrimp. All of a sudden one day, I could get some shrimp. I didn't have flour or fish fry. I fried it up with pancake batter and I swear, we still talk about it. That fried shrimp is the best thing we ever tasted. Food is where it's at!"

Tooker also recalls the grimness of the post-Katrina grocery stores. "When the grocery stores reopened, there was no butter, and just no place for anyone to buy fresh food." Then one day – a glimpse of normalcy.

She says, "Way up on the top shelf, under the generator lights, I saw a package that looked familiar and I pulled it down. There's this bakery called Brocato's that had just celebrated their centennial, and I'd heard that they'd gotten five feet of water and I couldn't find the owners. I figured I might never see these cookies again, so I bought maybe 20 packages of them."

Tooker continued, "I was sitting on my couch surrounded by all these cookie boxes and I saw this sticker on the side, next to the centennial sticker, and it said 'Best by August 2005.' I started crying, saying I should just get a tattoo that said the same thing because that's going to be true of all of us."

Still, little by little, hope shone through. The chefs came back and had to face the horrifying prospect of cleaning out their walk-in refrigerator that had been without power for days or even weeks. Tooker recalls sitting with chef John Besh in his flagship restaurant August as they planned fundraising strategies. Besh and his team had been using August as a home base to feed relief workers 20 hours a day in the wake of the flood.

She recalls, "He had a truck parked out front with a hose coming through a knocked out window in the front so they could get fresh water, and still, I couldn't believe this, he kept apologizing for the flies. It was so surreal."

After the worst had passed, the city's restaurants rallied. Says Tooker, "No matter if it was a little sandwich shop or a grand place, Each restaurant that reopened was a little bit of victory. Customers would be crying when they saw each other; they hadn't known who was still alive."

As McCarthy says, "As we were swiped about from one trauma to the next, the anxiety of losing it all created sense of kinship and an attachment to the taste of memory. In this crisis moment of Katrina we had to fight like hell to defend our traditions, and chefs and cooks showed extraordinary creativity. Juggling tradition and innovation – that’s the story now."

Today, five and a half years later the city is changed, but not broken. Poppy Tooker does a star turn around the Crescent Street Market. Fans of hers and Richard McCarthy's come up for a hug and to show off their purchases of fresh satsumas, Creole cream cheese (the method for which Tooker helped preserve from extinction) and Cajun grains rice.

Kay Brandhurst is also in attendance, vending fist-sized, sweet-smelling Louisiana shrimp from the back of her truck. The BP oil spill dealt a blow to her business  – but not from any physical peril to her family's hauls. She assures buyers that seafood is more rigorously tested that at any previous point in history. Still all but two of her 80 vendors outside of the region have dropped her, saying that their customers still just don't think it's worth the risk.

After all she's weathered, Brandhurst still has faith in herself and the system. "I think I can do anything now. I try to accept life for what it is, and I trust that [BP claims administrator] Mr. [Kenneth] Feinberg will get it right."

"You're an eternal optimist," teases Tooker. She's displaying a little bit of faith herself today, buying several pounds of Brandhurst's shrimp to make an etouffee for guests that afternoon. She's got no qualms about its safety; she just knows that it tastes like home. "This is the kind of dish that got us through."

More good reading from and about people in the story: The New Orleans Food Timeline | 'Cooking Up A Storm' | Poppy Tooker's Louisiana Eats! | In Katrina's Wake | Crescent City Farmers Market | Kay and Ray Brandhurst

More on New Orleans:
A toast to a civil rights activist Leah Chase
Cooking with Carville
What to do, drink, eat and avoid at Mardi Gras
All New Orleans coverage

soundoff (298 Responses)
  1. Hugh Jarce

    The only food those people need is some cheese to go with their never ending whine. The only purpose Katrina served was to reinforce how one very unwelcome segment of our society behaves when there is a crisis. When that happens, the menu consists of murder, rape, and looting with a dessert consisting largely of government handouts.

    February 16, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
    • Big Bird@Hugh Jarce

      And when a catastrophe happens in your "back yard" I guarantee you will be singing a different song.

      February 16, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
    • Que'

      Well, if you didn't live though it and have to work during after the storm, STFU!!!!! I never whined are cried when the city love went down in ruins because of Katrina. I served in the military at the time in which I was deployed there to bring law and order. If you never seen dead bodies floating, people's whole lives disappear overnight, then keep your mouth shut!!!!!!! I did and never want to experience it again!!!!! All of you have no idea what we as a city and state have been through. So, before pointing fingers and calling whiners, I want to know would you feel if you had to ride out not one(Katrina) but two(Rita) hurricanes????? Tell me what would you say then???? Don't worry, I'll wait!!!!!!

      February 16, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
      • Sammie

        Thank you Que'.. for your help in the aftermath.

        February 16, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
    • WhoDatGirl

      Your screen name suits you well. That is all....

      February 16, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
  2. Matt

    So... there was an ENTIRE episode of No Reservations on TV about this specific topic years ago. I am glad CNN is finally caught up on the news...

    February 16, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
  3. Catie

    I love Louisiana, I have never had a bad visit there. The people are like no other. So gracious and just love you for who you are. They are very unpretentious.
    Michelle Obama, while I am thrilled with your move it program to energize our young kids. And I have been fighting for years for better quality food in the school cafeterias. STAY AWAY FROM MY CAJUN FOOD!! This is a treat and when I go to Louisiana and go out to eat I want to treat myself. I am an adult and I can decide what and when I cut back on calories, fat and salt. Not my government. So, God bless you for taking care of those little ones who don't know how to choose properly for themselves, But enough is enough of you pushing your idea of food portion and ingredients to restaurants. We actually can decide what is best for us, we do not need the government thinking they know better

    February 16, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
    • Sammie

      Come on back, Catie! We'd love to have you.. and we'll sneak you some good food with giant pieces of buttered french bread 'round back where no one can see you. Ms Obama can watch out for the little ones... we'll be EATING!

      February 16, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
      • Catie

        Merci Sammie, I try to explain to my friends how different the Cajuns are. You are a people to be admired. You see I am married to a Cajun and when Katrina, and Rita ( always forgotten about) rolled around his family and friends lost so much. They ended up comforting me and I just saw a strength and a FAITH that surpases any other State I have lived in. Your Faith is what got you all through it. I am honored to be a part of your culture. Thank you

        February 17, 2011 at 6:38 am |
  4. Todd J

    Oh man... I love New Orleans / Cajun food...

    I could eat that stuff constantly. jumbolaya, binets, muffaletta sandwiches, hand grenades, oh man...

    February 16, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
  5. Sammie

    LOL.. yeah. .why do people click on the article, read it. .then whine about having to hear about it?

    February 16, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
  6. WhoDatGirl

    Anyone else notice the trolls b!tching about it are the ones who turned the article into something it was not.... A city like no other with people (and food!) like no other, Proud to call it home!

    And excuse us if we still whine on occasion, some things stick with you. Like losing my Dad three months after the storm and having no way to bury him in a timely manner. A little hard to forget.

    February 16, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
    • Jerv@WhoDatGirl

      Yup, sure have noticed. The apparent lack of empathy and civility is disturbing. Sorry for your loss and the difficulty involved in getting your father buried.

      February 16, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
      • Sammie

        Jealousy WhoDATGirl... just plain old jealousy that THEY can be from THE most amazing city on earth. Hang in there..

        February 16, 2011 at 2:47 pm |
    • Kathie

      Sorry for all your loses. I love New Orleans, the food, music and people. We are always made to feel welcome in your City and I for one can't wait to come back soon, it never get old Way Down Yonder in the Land of Dreams!

      February 16, 2011 at 7:58 pm |
  7. Along The Way

    Well, that didn't take much.

    February 16, 2011 at 2:09 pm |
  8. laura from willis

    Kudos to NOLAGIRL! I'm a Native New Orleanian. So sad to watch it all unfold from my TV in B/R. At the time, I was living and working in B/R. I t was several days before I learned that my cousin from Lakeview, had been found floating in her back yard.
    Forget? Never! Get tired of hearing about it, NO!

    New Orleans will ALWAYS be my HOME, and I feel so sorry for all the bitter folks on Comments this morning.
    I don't know about them, but, my Parents taught me that if you didn't have anything nice to say, then don't say anything.!!!! BTW, they were from Louisiana, too.

    February 16, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
  9. Southstar

    The fortitude of the people of this area is remarkable and we enjoy our visits to New Orleans and hope that our support of the businesses there will help. However, as always, buyer beware. Not every meal we've had has been stellar and many established establishments are taking the easy way by relying on their storied charm. We recommend that travelers use the research available on many travel websites to help them make the right decision and to send a message to the operators on how they are being received by the paying public. In many instances, one will find the new and upandcomers are putting more effort into their products and services. This is the right business model. There is no sense to supporting businesses that are giving their market what they want...no one is too big or too small to fail...pick up the pieces, learn from your mistakes and start again.

    February 16, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
  10. snooks

    Wow, some of these bloggers are crazy! Have slice of king cake and maybe the sugar will sweeten y'all up. As a lifetime New Orleanian, I too get tired of hearing the name "Katrina" on EVERY newscast; however, I NEVER tire of hearing stories about all of the great people who came back to rebuild or the selfless volunteers dedicated to restoring the BEST CITY IN THE WORLD! Thank you!!!!!!

    February 16, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
  11. Seth Gray

    The connection, and importance, of food to the culture of New Orleans is not a unique thing. Many cities all over the world have used food to represent at least some aspect of thier shared cultural understandings. The thing about New Orleans' food and culture is that it seems to be such a strong binding factor that many people have (and continue) to use food as a way of connecting to something beyond themselves. The traumas that we have faced here are not idealized individual problems. A method used to help repair what was lost and affected by those tramatic events is our food ways. The Crescent City Farmer's Market and the Restaurants of New Orleans have provided the city residents a public forum for healing and common cause.

    In short, food and the food ways of New Orleans, serve as access points for members of the cultural group to bind together in a way that other avenues have failed. The people of New Orleans have used our proud food ways to say more than we are hungry and like tasty things. We have used our food to bridge the gap between the past and the present, but more particularly we have (and will continue to) use our food ways as a hopeful bridge to the future.

    February 16, 2011 at 1:52 pm |
    • A Breaux

      I think that all of real cajuns and coona$$e$ ... like myself.... are bound amongst each other by the tradition of swampland survival that permeated the tables and gumbo pots all over the rural regions of the bayous of South Louisiana. Gumbo was the survival tool because it enabled you to obtain sustainance from the creatures of the swamp and marshlands in a way that no other "civilized" culture in the United States could do (without having to eat 'possum). Crawfish, shrimp, snapping turtle, frog legs, catfish, flounder, .... fried, stuffed, etouffee'.... these are all dishes that the "uptown" New Orleanians were able to financially capitalize on. ...not that they required them for survival. I remember a letter from my great grandmother citing the concept: "...these cajuns, as they call themselves, eat creatures from the swamp in a stew they call gumbo..." , So, I'm not so sure that the "authenticity" of a New Orleans based food culture is really centered about the true traditions of the real bayou cajuns. My poor great grandmother remained in Louisiana amongst the cajuns from whom the husbands and wives of her progeny sprang forth. Alas, now us poor cajuns who eat the creatures from the swamps in our gumbos are again subjunct to the confines placed upon us by the "more important" New Orleanians...

      February 16, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
      • Seth Gray

        I very much agree. The marketable aspects of NOLA / Food culture does blur the boundaries of the authentic food ways to be sure. And like the survival needs of your great grandmother (what an incredible cultural artifact her notes / stories are!!) and her neighbors, food has helped her / them / us deal with the dramatic blows we faced as a community. Each individual loss is indeed measurable, but when combining the losses of the whole GNO region (Greater New Orleans; to include those true coona$$e$ et. al.), a broader collective understanding of who we are is defined by our love and dedication to our food ways. Survival is not the same now as it may have been "back in the day", but one of our main collective ways of dealing with our contemporary survival needs seems to have transcended historical limitations.

        February 16, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
  12. Marshland

    Wonderful article. Reminds me we are due for a visit.

    February 16, 2011 at 1:42 pm |
  13. love BP

    not all BP fault, its cutting corners about the $$$$

    February 16, 2011 at 1:38 pm |

    copop....must be nice never too loose a family memeber, house, every memory of your childhood, and your JOB because of Katrina and BP!!!

    February 16, 2011 at 1:33 pm |
  15. A Breaux

    Well....the BEST place to find REAL 'cajun cooking is anywhere within about 50 to 70 miles and South of Lafayette Louisiana. New Orleans is a nice party town, BUT, the REAL 'cajuns are in places like Breaux Bridge, Lafayette, Abbeville, Mamou, Ville Plat, Rayne, Crowley, Pierre Part, Eunice, Delcombe, and of course the heart of 'cajun sauce: New Iberia, including Franklin, and Morgan City, Thibodaux, and Houma. Also, down the Lafourche Bayou... and a few others. New Orleans is a lot of show, but, does not have the TRADITIONAL and AUTHENTIC 'cajun food from true Acadian French decendants of the 'cajun expulsion, save for a few. Bon Appetite mes amis!

    February 16, 2011 at 1:32 pm |
    • Sammie

      Just start in New Olreans.. and EAT YOUR WAY all the way thru cajun country. You cant' go wrong, chere!

      February 16, 2011 at 4:41 pm |

    Rich until you have walked a mile in OUR shoes shut the heck up. So you are telling me to say to all the families who lost loved ones during Katrina just to get over it because it was just a storm.

    February 16, 2011 at 1:30 pm |
  17. David Smith

    Contrary to the cynical belief of many, our seafood does not have an oil flavor. Try it, you'll like it.

    February 16, 2011 at 1:30 pm |
    • Seth Gray

      Second that

      February 16, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
  18. David Smith

    It matters not how often one talks of Katrina, or the oil spill, South Louisiana food is always a great topic of discussion. From the Creole concoctions of New Orleans to the Cajun mixtures of the bayou, food it the glue that keeps it together through thick or thin.

    February 16, 2011 at 1:28 pm |
  19. Byrd

    Does the author prefer her shrimp served with an ethyl, premium or high test glaze?

    February 16, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
    • Big Bird

      I'm willing to bet the author would prefer that you eat some stfu NO shrimp.

      February 16, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
    • Sammie

      And I'm willing to bet that you havent' eaten any shrimp from the Gulf in years. stfu

      February 16, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
      • Big Bird

        Go get 'em Sammie!

        February 16, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
      • Sammie

        You too, Big Bird... I guess NOT being from the greatest city in the world is just too much for some people.

        February 16, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
  20. copop

    It is close to 6 years since Katrina hit – I am among many who are just sick and tired of hearing about it. Ike happened 2 years ago and we, in the Houston area, do not whine and complain like the New Orleaneans or expect a handout for years to come. It is just high-timed to get over Katrina, the BP oil spill and everything else and move on.

    February 16, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
    • Erin

      Ike was an incredibly strong and damaging hurricane, especially for an area not accustomed to being hit by tropical weather. But to compare it to Katrina? Are you mad? Did the entire infrastructure of your city crumble before your eyes? Did bodies float down the streets of your town? I didn't think so. Katrina is and will always be part of our story. Most of us don't use it for pity or sympathy. But it's hard to tell the story of New Orleans without mentioning the huge event that forever altered it...and us. Some are still whining with their hands out to the government and BP in the wake of the spill. But most of us? We wake up every day. We go to work or we look for work. We get by. We eat well, drink well and laugh often. Nobody keeps their boot on our neck for very long, so I'm sorry if you are tired of hearing about the resilient nature of our city. It's who we are and guess what buddy, we're not going anywhere. So, in your wise words, move on.

      February 16, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
    • Rigel54

      Ike was bad, for Galveston. Houston? A bit, I suppose.

      February 17, 2011 at 12:14 am |
  21. Arch Stanton

    OK, this is by far the best thing that I have read this week. Well done. I have only been there once, but the magnetic pull of the Earth that I felt there was quite strong. I salute Lu Brow, and especially her father, for knowing...
    No matter what nonsense people may write online, there is a small place in every American's heart that cheers for the people of New Orleans. Although far from Louisiana, I will now walk up the street for lunch and savor every bite.

    February 16, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
    • RCBinTN

      Well done yourself, Arch Stanton.

      February 16, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
  22. papa

    yes they have good food but it is hard to eat when the whole downtown smells like urine. Quit complaining and get to work. Mississippi Alabama have repaired our stuff. We did not wait for the goverment to come in and fix everything. Thats right you can't get back to work yet because BP has not fully paid claims. I do not eat or fish in the gulf anymore because we STILL have tar balls washing a shore and BP laid off clean up crews.

    February 16, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
    • Sammie

      You weren't steeped in tepid nasty water for 6 weeks either. Biloxi was wiped off the face of the map.. very little clean up there prior to the rebuilding starting.
      How about we stop trying to outvictimize each other

      February 16, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
    • Rigel54

      OH, pathetic Papa! You were hardly touched by Katrina, or the spill. You are a passive-aggressive whiner, whining about nothing! You fixed nothing, because you had nothing to fix! In your tedious little burg.

      February 17, 2011 at 12:12 am |
  23. 12345

    Most of the cajun food that's highlighted in the last few CNN articles are not uniquely New Orleans. NOLA is known for Creole food, and Cajun food is prevalent in the rest of Louisiana (hello, "cajun country' like Lafayette and the rest of Acadiana) and even the rest of the northern Gulf Coast. Being from coastal AL–I can say we eat much of the same stuff because of our similar French/African/Spanish/Creole culture, and yes, we even talk about great food (that we've had or will have) while eating dinner.
    And please, CNN, do a story about New Orleans (after all, it's Mardi Gras season–which means you'll be going on about NOLA Mardi Gras and not mention the celebrations in Mobile, AL, Pensacola, FL, and even Galveston, TX) without mentioning Katrina. And stop making New Orleans the biggest victims of the BP oil spill. Yes, seafood and the oil industry are big in NOLA, but the real victims are the fishermen and other workers who depend on the Gulf in the coastal parishes, coastal AL, coastal MS, and coastal FL. New Orleans actually MADE MONEY from the immediate effects of the oil spill (because their hotels–and thus restaurants, shops, etc–were full of people.

    February 16, 2011 at 1:09 pm |
    • A Breaux

      Yea, I can tell you know where the REAL gumbo and crawfish (pronounced kraw-fish) etoufee' resides!

      February 16, 2011 at 1:36 pm |
  24. Rich

    so let me get this straight...there was a hurricane named Katrina that hit New Orleans in 2005? This is the first I'm hearing of that... God bless all of the people who survived such a disaster. I am glad that the people of N.O. have managed to return and rebuild after such a horrible tragedy. But maybe people could just bring to light the good food in N.O. instead of always making everything about hurricane Katrina. Just an idea.

    February 16, 2011 at 1:04 pm |
  25. jim

    Let the swamp creatures have it back!!!

    February 16, 2011 at 1:04 pm |
  26. KinNY

    Counting the days to NOLA Jazz and Heritage Festival! 122 Food stands and not one burger or dog. Every vendor serving the best food with a smile and a kind word. 10 bands every hour. Come on down and support the locals. April 29 – May 8.

    February 16, 2011 at 1:03 pm |
  27. Lisa

    Along the Way, you will never know what it felt like to sit in a house 300 miles from your home and see the images that were flashed on TV 24/7. We did not know if our homes survived, where or friends and family were and when or if we would see them again. It got even worse when we went camping in Texas for New Years '06. We met family that live in Texas and some of their friends. And as always the topic turned to New Orleans and should it be rebuilt. Imagine hearing someone say "Why should we pay to rebuild such a cesspool"? I couldn't believe it! Did the country help rebuild Los Angeles after the Northridge earthquake, YES! Did we do the same for New York after 9/11, YES! So, why not New Orleans. It is the most UNIQUE city in the country.
    Katrina was an experience I NEVER want to relive or would wish on my worst enemy. My daughter was so traumatized, that when we evacuated for Gustave she was hysterical about the thought that she would lose her new friends whose families had flooded for Katrina and said they would not return if flooded again. Before Katrina, I would have felt confident telling her not to worry, it would be all right. But I couldn't. It broke my heart to see how distraught she was. So you can sit where ever you are and STUFF IT!

    February 16, 2011 at 1:01 pm |
    • ANW

      Millions were spent rebuilding Northridge. Millions were spent fixing NYC after the attacks. Millions were spent rebuilding New Orleans. I don't get why some people think it was treated any differently.

      February 16, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
  28. Rich

    No one cares about New Orleans! It was a sh***y city befor Katrina and it is still a sh***y city after.

    February 16, 2011 at 12:55 pm |
    • tweb

      Nice name

      February 16, 2011 at 12:56 pm |
    • KinNY

      Glad not to have you potty mouth.

      February 16, 2011 at 1:06 pm |
    • Smokin' in NO@Rich

      "No one cares about New Orleans!"

      And enough said about you as well.

      February 16, 2011 at 1:12 pm |
      • @Smokin'

        Is this one of the trolls of which you speak?

        February 17, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
    • To Dick

      If ya doan care den doan drip your shist here. Find another blog to pollute.

      February 16, 2011 at 1:13 pm |
    • Que'

      And Rich with your sh#$$Y attitude, your just sh@$#y as the city I love and proud to call home. Dumba$$

      February 16, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
    • Vanessa Scalia

      Aww what wisdom. Your parents must be so proud of you. "rolls eyes" Can't have you hurting that brain with intelligent words. What jail are you posting from?.

      February 16, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
    • ZydecoCruiser

      Unlike you, the city has class. AND GREAT FOOD!

      February 16, 2011 at 1:59 pm |


    February 16, 2011 at 12:55 pm |
  30. ZydecoCruiser

    God Bless New Orleans, the Mississippi Gulf Coast, and all who were affected by Katrina. The recovery still has a long way to geaux, but progress continues to be made.

    How boring the food must be in other parts of the world. Cajun or Creole, who cares? It's all good! The roots are mostly Creole in New Orleans, however.

    I get back to my hometown as often as possible. Saving New Orleans, one poboy at a time! :-)

    The softshell crabs ain't bad, either. Couldn't make up my mind, so got one fried and one sauteed!

    February 16, 2011 at 12:49 pm |
    • KinNY

      Love Zydeco. Dwayne Doopsie ain't bad either!

      February 16, 2011 at 1:04 pm |
      • Hollie

        Dwayne!!! Went to NOLA a year and a half ago, fell in love with the city, the food, and the music, and was amazed at Dwayne's abilities as a musician!

        February 20, 2011 at 6:06 pm |
  31. CajunBob

    Much (not all) of Louisiana is blessed with great food. Check out the offerings of boudin we have: http://www.boudinlink.com

    February 16, 2011 at 12:49 pm |
  32. tweb

    Once asked a waiter at Mr B's "is the gumbo good" He replied "son, it keeps the lights on!" Better food is found in Acadiana though; around the Lafayette area. WOW!

    February 16, 2011 at 12:39 pm |
    • A Breaux

      You know it baby!

      February 16, 2011 at 1:38 pm |
  33. Mychaeltodd

    They have the best seasoned food in the world!

    February 16, 2011 at 12:37 pm |
  34. MKKoehl

    Having married a New Orleanian, birthed both of my sons there, and buried one there, I will say this, I feel New Orleans, is a life style, and a culture all its own. On our first trip back after Katrina, we both cried at the damage still left unfixed. Our church where we were married, the school where our sons attended, even the park where my husband proposed to me was still in ruins. But getting down to the French Quarter, and along the river was like coming home to the home we knew. Three cheers for the chefs that made it back, and have done all they can to help renew this beautiful city. By way of food, it brings all of us a little closer to the city that was, and can be. So while some people are getting tired of hearing about Katrina, some people are getting very tired of hearing about joblessness, and the kindergarten behavior of our politicians. We know that we are jobless, but yet the politicians are still playing games. AT least New Orleans has people who are willing to work together and work on solutions to their problems.

    February 16, 2011 at 12:05 pm |
  35. Evil Grin

    I can certainly understand why people in Louisiana would be tired of hearing Katrina-this and Katrina-that. Ever since the storm, Katrina and Louisiana have been fused together as one, and people have a hard time talking about New Orleans without mentioning Katrina. I'd get tired of it, too.

    However, stories like this inspire outsiders, who want to hear how people affected have dealt with it all this time. Perhaps it is a way for us to reassure ourselves that if the same scale disaster should happen in our area, we could recover with as much grace.

    February 16, 2011 at 12:02 pm |
  36. Payton

    Carol... this article has nothing to do with saving America. It is an article about a city and food. You don't want to read it, then don't read it but keep your snide ugly comments to yourself. I swear, I can't stand b**ches with attitude. You my dear are the problem.

    February 16, 2011 at 12:01 pm |
  37. Debi

    I titally agree w/ Lisa. To know NOLA is to love it! It is such an amazing place, as are the people, the food and the history. Having been there many times. The culture is awesome. Hang tough NOLA!

    February 16, 2011 at 11:59 am |
  38. Toxic Shrimp

    I wonder if they got the shrimp from the toxic gulf? Its nice that they are trying to promote New Orleans, but its kind of a death sentence. People are sick and dying all along the coast from the oil spill and we are still talking about Katrina. I understand Katrina was horrible, but we have moved on to a much more dangerous situation that will be felt world wide as time goes on. Do your self and everyone else a favor, DON'T EAT GULF SEAFOOD, AND DON'T GO SWIMMING IN IT EITHER.

    February 16, 2011 at 11:59 am |
    • Toxic Shock Shrimpdom

      Are ye feeble?!? "Katrina was horrible, but we have moved on to a much more dangerous situation that will be felt world wide as time goes on." How will an oil spill in the gulf, that didn't even spread much past the FL Keys "be felt world wide?" To date, a larger percentage of the spill has been cleaned up. At the current rate of clean-up, by this time next year it'll be history. Conversely,we're coming up on the 6-year anniversary of Katrina and there are still people who have been left HOMELESS as a result of that hurricane.

      it's just that you enjoy standing up on that soapbox and screaming whatever blather comes to mind, eh? Knock yourself out ........... no really ........ please knock yourself out.

      February 16, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
      • Smokin' in NO

        Can't argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

        February 16, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
      • @Smokin' in NO

        Capeche. It's just that some of ignoray-mooses are so painful .........

        February 16, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
    • Evil Grin

      I rarely swim in seafood, but thanks for the tip anyway.

      February 16, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
      • Jerv

        Touché !!

        February 16, 2011 at 1:28 pm |
    • A Breaux

      Hey Toxic Shrimp. Don't worry, we won't eat you so long as you don't pop your little head up near our nets! GUMBO!

      February 16, 2011 at 1:40 pm |
    • ZydecoCruiser

      I've never stopped eating gulf shrimp (or oysters or...), but I long ago stopped listening to alarmists.

      February 16, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
      • Jerv

        " long ago stopped listening to alarmists." Yup, diggin' your MO, Z.

        February 16, 2011 at 2:08 pm |
    • conradshull

      Smokin' in NO is right about arguing with an idiot. A farmer doesn't waste his time telling a pig his breath smells like ***t.

      February 16, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
    • The Witty One@what I can only assume is an idiot second grader

      Are you kidding me!?!? I'm buying up all the gulf seafood I can get! Then I wring the oil out and sell it at $60 a barrel. I'm eating great seafood AND making money! Woohoo!

      February 16, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
    • Rigel54

      @Toxic Shrimp: Your comments are absurd. I fish these waters, the seafood is fine. I eat oysters and shrimp weekly, and fish more often. No one is sick. The industry is suffering from negative press, which you energetically encourage. You have no idea what you are talking about, where are you? The biosphere here is very active, not like Alaska. Can some oil residue be found? Yes, mostly buried. Are there some dead areas? A few will take a couple of years. Mostly good? Yes. Whose axe are you grinding?

      February 17, 2011 at 12:05 am |
  39. JBJingles

    Oh, you all make me want to go back to New Orleans now...yum! Thanks for sharing the stories and food.

    February 16, 2011 at 11:44 am |
  40. LisaM

    We took a family trip there last Spring. Spent 4 days, walked all over, took streetcars, in short had wonderful time and amazing food. Only disappointment was Antoine's. We went for lunch, were seated in front room, then asked if we wanted to see the famous back room (we didn't care but they kind of insisted). It was empty, although two other tables were seated soon after. Made the mistake of ordering the "special" the waiter pushed. Lean Cuisine would have been a vast improvement: food was bland, flabby and tasteless, obviously prepared well in advance and then reheated to order – at over $150 for 4. Heard lady at table next to us chewing waiter out over food...said she came there all the time. Excuse given was new management. Beware! They seem to be coasting on reputation. On a positive note, best BBQ shrimp of the trip was Mister B's. Absolutely fantastic!

    February 16, 2011 at 11:33 am |
  41. New Orleans Son

    So..."Along the Way"...exactly how ARE thing in one of the internationally famous vibrant cosmopolitian metropolises in which you reside? Sounds like youre from Bunkie, or Ruston, or Leesville, or wait a minute...as cultured and eruidite as you seem to be you MUST be from beautiful downtown Shreveport,! Right?! After all you seem to speak for the masses of Louisianians who have obivioulsy sought you out for your sage pronouncements and extraordinary insight in to other peoples thoughts feelings and desires. Either that or Myrtle from the Dairy Queen, who thinks you are as wise as Solomon! So please, "Along the Way"...continue to regale the great unwashed masses with you philosophy and worldview. I for one cant wait to hear your views on sun spots, Middle East unrest, the validity of the Mayan calenders time of the Apocalyspe, and most importantly...when ate the Blizzards coming back to DQ? Concult with Myrtle and get back to me wouldja? Happy Mardi Gras!

    February 16, 2011 at 11:31 am |
    • Jerv@New Orleans Son

      Hear, hear! " Along the Way" is well overdue for a mental oil change.

      February 16, 2011 at 11:35 am |
    • MardiBug

      Amen to that! "Along the Way" can keep going along the way right on past New Orleans – they obviously don't know a great place when they see it. Keep on goin', hon – we won't miss ya! Laissez les bon temps rouler y'all!

      February 16, 2011 at 12:20 pm |
    • J

      This sounds like a Baton Rouge type of person. They are sooooooooooooo jealous of NOLA!

      February 16, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
  42. sanjosemike

    I know that many readers are "sick" of hearing about Katrina and the failed levees. There is much fault to go around, including the Government of LA allocation of Federal funds that were supposed to go to the levees into other private investments, for the enrichment of local power brokers.

    All that aside for a moment, I'd much rather see articles enticing visitors for the food than more attempts at getting more Government money, and thus just raising taxes...which will also go to local power brokers.

    In short, tourism is the answer, and the food is the attraction. Tourism has the advantage of actually going to THE LOCAL PEOPLE, rather than local politicians. I applaud this article and its intentions.

    February 16, 2011 at 11:30 am |
    • Ezra

      sanjosemike - How much did the government pay you to spread this false and misleading propaganda?

      February 16, 2011 at 12:46 pm |
      • Vanessa Scalia

        Well Ezra it was during the Bush administration, so it wouldn't surprise me. He was the worst president ever. Kind of like another Dan Quayle.

        February 16, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
      • Ryan

        Probably the same entity that creates these fantasyland puff pieces about how great New Orleans is..........

        February 16, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
      • Barre

        Ezra you and Ryan both need a big ole bowl of that stfu gumbo... yummmmmm

        February 16, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
    • Rigel54

      @Ryan: Again?! What's got your panties in a wad? You've got a lot invested in bad-mouthing New Orleans? I wonder why? I mean besides being a bored, bitter, lonely, angry Okie?

      @Ezra: Sorry, I know it sounds like a fantasy, but it's all true!

      February 16, 2011 at 11:58 pm |
  43. mewpudding101

    When I left my home after Katrina, you know what I missed? The food. Well, that and home in general. Happy Mardi Gras, and I miss you home.

    February 16, 2011 at 11:20 am |
  44. Andrew

    Not everyone from New Orleans,is part of this older culture.

    February 16, 2011 at 11:11 am |
  45. Aaron Stroud

    I, for one, love to hear these stories. I dont live there but I've been to New Orleans over a dozen times. And as I wept for the city (but mostly for the people there and in the region) I had NO DOUBT that y'all would bounce back. Never crossed my ind in the least that you would roll over and die. It just aint in 'ya! I understand those who want to move on and that is happening. But these stories continue to bolster my faith in the great people of New Orleans and the Gulf region. Have a happy Mardi Gras y'all. I miss you desperately.

    February 16, 2011 at 11:06 am |
    • Barre

      Come on back and visit, Aaron.. we'd love to have ya.

      February 16, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
      • Aaron Stroud

        I'm trying to get there for Jazzfest! Haven't been down since '09. Craving a po-boy from Mandina's!!!!

        February 16, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
  46. Jerv

    Very good read, Kat. Looking forward to "Leah Chase and why she matters."

    February 16, 2011 at 10:59 am |
  47. Jdizzle McHammerpants

    Cajun food was a type of cuisine originating on Earth in the state of Louisiana – specifically New Orleans. Among the spices used in Cajun food was cayenne. (DS9: "Accession") Jambalaya was another type of Cajun food. (DS9: "Favor the Bold")

    Trip Tucker once thought Cajun food was hot until he had his first taste of Haljaran. (ENT: "Oasis")

    In an attempt to berate his doctor, who had criticized his lack of care of his health, Joseph Sisko complained that despite the fact that his doctor has been living in New Orleans for twenty years, he still couldn't tell the difference between Cajun food and Creole food. (DS9: "Homefront")

    After preparing several specialty dishes for Nog, Sisko later considered offering Cajun-style tube grubs on his menu. (DS9: "Homefront")

    February 16, 2011 at 10:48 am |
    • Elizabeth

      New Orleans isn't Cajun, its Creole!

      February 16, 2011 at 11:06 am |
      • bill

        you right elizabeth

        February 16, 2011 at 12:39 pm |
      • Creoleone

        Thank you Elizabeth. I wish ppl would get a clue of what the difference is.

        February 16, 2011 at 12:53 pm |
      • jim

        What makes you think people give a rat's a$$ what the difference is?

        February 16, 2011 at 1:08 pm |
      • Jdizzle McHammerpants

        Right, Jim?

        February 16, 2011 at 1:11 pm |
      • greenacres

        dang – whatta conversation –
        Bush ignored all the citizens of new orleans – isn't that nice? BTW, where are all the Haitians/Africans AND AFRICAN-AMERICANS who were the ones who GAVE the french flavor to make great foods? No sistas or brothus in the pictures – just 'anglos' in the pics – So sad – Don't be fooled – BLACKS have the heart for New Orleans Quisine and started it ALL! Where are the black restaurants in this story??? C'mon man – Tell the truth!

        February 16, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
      • freddie

        go girl. most cajuns reside in sw la, not no!

        February 16, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
    • Bud in NC

      Sorry- get your history right. Cajun culture and food grew up in the swamps, bayous, and praries of Acadiana- west of New Orleans. There are a lot of Cajun eateries in New Orleans now, but did not originate there. New Orleans cooking can be more appropriately called Creole.

      February 16, 2011 at 11:15 am |
      • Creoleone

        As a Creole, I am quite aware of this. Also, I am a native. My family is been in New Orleans since the 1800's. I got it. We also have Mexican restaurants but that doesn't define New Orleans food either. Ppl label any New Orleans type food automatically as Cajun. It is a generalized statement about all of our food and it is also dead wrong.

        February 16, 2011 at 12:55 pm |
      • Evil Grin

        Seriously you guys couldn't tell these were Star Trek quotes?

        February 16, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
      • Captain Kathryn Janeway

        They are a few light years short of planet Brainiac.

        February 16, 2011 at 1:32 pm |
      • Doctor Beverly Crusher

        They are experiment in Artificial Stupidity.

        February 16, 2011 at 1:33 pm |
    • Jdizzle McHammerpants

      LOL. Newbies.

      February 16, 2011 at 11:36 am |
    • Evil Grin

      Nice. I was wondering where our Star Trek trivia was today. I knew Beta III couldn't be it.

      February 16, 2011 at 11:45 am |
      • Jerv@EG

        Hahah! Yeah I thought that was a nice touch by Cheech McHammerpants.

        February 16, 2011 at 11:47 am |
  48. Along The Way

    Oh. And everyone, STOP comparing every turn of the wind and rain to Katrina. It's as bad as hearing "GREEN" in reference to being environmentally conscience. Enough already!!

    February 16, 2011 at 10:36 am |
    • Patrick

      I'm greener than you and aren't you just a bright little ray of sunshine today?

      February 16, 2011 at 10:37 am |
    • Al On His Weigh

      Who peed in YOUR cornflakes? Take a Midol with some Godiva and go back under your rock.

      February 16, 2011 at 12:28 pm |
      • Dr. Phil

        Those must be frosted cornflakes because only a dumb blonde in a freezer would make such a stupid comment.

        February 16, 2011 at 12:41 pm |
    • State Trooper John in NO

      While along your way, "Along The Way," I will be sure and pull you over. With an attitude and face as ugly as yours I can write you a ticket for mooning.

      February 16, 2011 at 12:52 pm |
      • fell out of my chair laughing

        there is no law against mooing

        February 16, 2011 at 1:43 pm |
      • A Breaux

        ...or simply DPS.... Disturbing the Peace by Stupidity!

        February 16, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
      • Stephen Daedalus

        Hey John, did you know that you IP address is logged each time you make a post here? Do you understand how profoundly stupid it was for you to make that comment if you are indeed a state trooper? Thanks for making my night interesting; I'll be sure to report your real information to whoever has placed the most flags in your file. That is of course, unless you're just a security guard who failed the psych test to be a beat cop?... hmmm? :)

        February 16, 2011 at 6:05 pm |
      • Rigel54

        Thanks, Trooper John, say hello to Danny F for me.

        February 16, 2011 at 11:50 pm |
    • Steve P


      February 16, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
  49. Along The Way

    Ugh. Does the rest of the world (AND CNN) know just how sick most of Louisiana is sick and tired of hearing about Katrina? That would be almost all areas of Louisiana except for New Orleans. Next!!

    February 16, 2011 at 10:35 am |
    • Poppy Tooker

      When the BP oil spill added insult to the injuries we were just beginning to get ahead of here in NOLA, unfortunately America had to stand up for New Orleans and recognize the resiliency of her people and our loving relationship with food. We have to eat it to save it!

      February 16, 2011 at 10:47 am |
      • Carol

        The rest of America is trying to survive too. I'm sure the last thing on America's mind is saving seafood in New Orleans.

        February 16, 2011 at 11:50 am |
      • Jerv@Carol

        What an incredibly myopic view. Here, have some stfu gumbo.

        February 16, 2011 at 11:54 am |
      • Dr. Phil@Carol

        Since when do you know what's on "America's mind?" I am prescribing you some stfu pills for rectal bleeding out of your brain.

        February 16, 2011 at 12:32 pm |
      • conradshull

        I'm from the Northeast. I've been to NOLA before and after Katrina. There is no more soulful city in the country, perhaps the world, and food and music are it's backbone. There are few things which can bring you closer to God than a softshell crab po-boy and listening to Irma Thomas's tribute to Mahalia Jackson.

        February 16, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
      • Sammie

        Tell 'em, Poppy...

        February 16, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
      • Stephen Daedalus

        Or, and here's a thought... you could take that lovely culture above sea-level. You're eventually going to be underwater, and the only reason NOLA was rebuilt is for the sake of fuel shipments. Deal with it, and enjoy your shrimp while you can.

        February 16, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
      • Making Myself Hungry

        Carol, you must never have been to NOLA; I KNOW you've never eaten there. You'd be singing a different tune if you did. Heck, I'd rather shut down NASA than see NOLA's seafood industry suffer.

        February 16, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
      • NolaMom

        Dear Stephen D ... anytime you're ready for guests let us know ... can't wait to move above sea level ... me and my 8 kids need a place and appreciate the offer.

        February 16, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
      • Stephen Daedalus

        @NolaMom: I should be clear that i"m talking about people who WANT to stay, not people who have no choice because of circumstances. I think it's frankly irresponsible for our government to place you and your family in this kind of situation. I can't help you, I'm sorry, but I certainly don't wish you anything except luck and success for you and your family.

        February 16, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
      • Rigel54

        @Carol: Can't wait to hear about your challenges. Bought a $800,000 house on an income of $40,000/year? Ran up $60,000 in credit card debt on $25,000 a year? Five kids (5?) and no job? Tragedies all, but all with that little kernel of earned consequence. I'll show you my compassion, if you'll show me yours.

        February 16, 2011 at 11:16 pm |
      • Jerv

        What I can't understand is why they are building the city in the same place. Who in his right mind would build a city below water level? Should've taken the chance after Katrina and built New Orleans in Iowa.

        February 17, 2011 at 12:51 pm |
      • Stephen Daedalus

        True, but then adorable Poppy here wouldn't make the front page of CNN! They need content, the poor dears. *rolleyes* It's OK, she's already proven that unlike the city's poor, she can get out in time. You have to love spin, and this plague of nostalgia... it's money.

        If they could use Iowa as a port for Oil and gas... NOLA would be Detroit already.

        February 17, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
    • Lisa

      Personally, I think it's a great article and demonstrates the strength of human nature when people band together and pull through the hardest of times, instead of sitting whining about their fate. If one doesn't like hearing or reading about Katrina-related stories, then don't click on the link!

      February 16, 2011 at 11:10 am |
      • NoDoubt

        Lisa, totally agree with you. I liked this article.

        February 18, 2011 at 9:32 pm |
    • dnote

      Agreed. Anyone with any sense knows katrina didn't destroy new orleans, the levees did, along with piss poor planning of building a city under sea level that close to the coast. Katrina destroyed the Mississippi gulf coast, but you never heard about that.

      February 16, 2011 at 11:15 am |
      • msgirl

        Thank you.

        February 16, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
      • dnote? failing grade!

        ID 10 T error: the levees failed because of the storm surged caused by Katrina.

        Love it when y'all pick 'n' choose what to gripe about. Makes you sound so much more ignorant.


        February 16, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
      • EJ

        Nobody planned or built a city below sea level. The French Quarter, established as a French colony in 1620, is above sea level. It is as far up river as big ships want to go which is why the port is there. The rest of the city grew up around it over the course of 375 odd years before Katrina hit. So, nobody was SO STUPID as to build a city below sea level and it is not the FAULT of anyone who lives there. People need to get off of that trip. It is just stupid to think that way.

        February 16, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
      • bam

        I am pretty sure the stupidity of having a city BELOW sea level at the face of the Sea destroyed New Orleans nothing else.
        Or should we just agree and say GRAVITY destroyed New Orleans.
        Not many people would stand in front of a car at WOT while being held back by a chain all their lives.

        February 16, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
      • dontchaknow

        actually we did. not to sound cold, but it's just not the same – not the same disaster or the same unique area of the country and world. that's just the reality.

        February 16, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
      • Rigel54

        Thanks dnote, and @failinggrade and the other imbecile. A few details: The levees in New Orleans failed at 80% of their design capacity. Sort of like your house collapsing in a 60 mph wind. If they'd been built by private industry the builder would have been liable for all damages. Had they not failed I would have had $604 damages, not $250,000. Federal incompetence, corruption, and laziness, caused the disaster, not the hurricane. Absent the hurricane, no damage? True. Present levies as designed no damage? True. Port cities by necessity are pretty much at sea level. That goes for New York, Boston, Charleston, Savannah, Miami, Los Angeles, you name it. A Katrina strike would have ruined them all. Levies, dikes, and dams protect huge swathes of our country. Look around you, your might be surprised, you heartless scum. And we're (mostly) not below sea level, that's a popular myth.

        February 16, 2011 at 11:25 pm |
    • LakeviewGal

      If you think you are sick of HEARING about Katrina, imagine how sick the people of New Orleans are of confronting it on a daily basis. Katrina and the levee failures that followed are one of the greatest disasters to befall an American city. There are many lessons to be learned from it, not the least of which is that New Orleans and her residents are incredibly resillient. Great attitude – you must not be a native.

      February 16, 2011 at 11:16 am |
      • Ryan

        No, actually I live in an area that doesnt rely on bashing the government 24/7 with my hands always outstretched.

        When government fails – the people pick up the slack, succeed, and learn not to rely so much on government. New Orleans still hasnt learned that lesson.

        So no, Im not a native.

        February 16, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
      • Sammie

        We thank god for that ryan... stay right where you are!

        February 16, 2011 at 2:44 pm |
      • RS@ryan

        Wow, you really are an ass! No one likes to ask for help, but it's good to know it's there when you need it. I'm so sick of idiots like you taking an uplifting story and just trying to make it into a negative. Just die.

        February 16, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
      • Bookenz

        One lesson learned: don't build a city that needs a levee.

        February 16, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
      • Rigel54

        @Ryan: I think you are from Kansas, or Oklahoma, possibly Wichita, they seem a focus of heartless, ignorant, simplistic people. If you'd been here you'd have seen people almost universally (myself included) getting back into town illegally, opening their houses, and starting to rebuild. Did we need help? Absolutely! Tell me of when somebody blew up your house, and every house for a 30 mile radius, destroyed the sewerage and water supply systems, the underground gas pipes, and above ground electrical, telephone, and cable systems, then locked you out for 2 months. How did you handle that? I think the worst thing that's happened to you is a hangnail. I lived in a chemical plant, a borrowed bedroom (kids, lovely Disney stuff), an unfinished bedroom (boards and lumber), a borrowed house, which i helped fix, with 3 families, a rented apartment across from my house, and now I'm home, and better than before. You need a tornado, Okie, and no insurance.

        February 16, 2011 at 11:34 pm |
      • LakeviewGal

        This is in reply to "LakeviewGal": My Internet name is also Lakeview Gal, and a friend actually just asked me if I'd written your comment! (Good comment, by the way.) As you might have guessed, I'm a New Orleans native born and raised in Lakeview, but have lived far away for many years – don't get home as often as I'd like. I haven't read all these comments because some will probably reflect the misconceptions about Katrina, and it's frustrating that many people still don't understand that the storm would not have caused the catastrophic flooding if the levees had been built correctly in the first place. It's all been documented – I just wish everyone would get the message, and then maybe we wouldn't have to keep repeating it.

        February 21, 2011 at 11:29 pm |
    • Truth@Along the way

      Speaking of someone who volunteered to help work to save your city, I would ask you to stfu regarding Katrina. It was a pivotal event in your city's history and it always will be, so deal with it.

      That said, i would like to go back now and see the renovations. Would be nice to not live on c-rations and canned drinking water (which we dubbed "Floodweiser")

      February 16, 2011 at 11:48 am |
      • Rigel54

        @Truth: I'm not sure your welcome, so stfu. They were MREs, not Ks, and I never saw canned water. Not sure you were here, sound like a troll. You sound like a pretender, so get over it.

        February 16, 2011 at 11:38 pm |
      • Rigel54

        @Truth – Sorry you were right, I just Googled canned water and it was used in post-Katrina relief efforts. My bad. Thank you for helping out our fair city in it's time of need. People like you restore my confidence in this country!

        February 17, 2011 at 12:57 pm |
    • Hurricane Passed@All On Through Hay

      I find it nay impossible to believe you speak for "most of Louisiana" in your diatribes. From the entries here, sounds like you are in the minority. Hurricane Katrina caused a major disaster in a world-renowned city that is STILL under reconstruction. This subject should leave the pages & sites of the media just because YOU want it? Maybe you haven't been instructed on how to use the buttons on websites so you can drop your drivel on OTHER SITES.

      If it doesn't interest you, feel free to go away.

      If the people who, to this day, still don't have a home as a result of this storm, then this story needs to be front & center in the news.

      February 16, 2011 at 12:26 pm |
      • Ryan

        So in your view of the world – the homeless person in New Orleans is much more important than the person who just got foreclosed upon, or cant pay their healthcare costs, or cant put food on the table because of high unemployment.

        Gotta love the shallow minded liberal point of view. Never thinking outside of "Me! Me! Me!" Land.

        February 16, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
      • Jerv@Ryan

        How in the world do you draw that conclusion from "If the people who, to this day, still don't have a home as a result of this storm, then this story needs to be front & center in the news?"

        February 16, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
      • Hurricane Passed@Jerv

        Because Ryan's a cherry picker: "Let's pick out 2 words here; that phrase there; and jumble it all up into Jello and rant ridiculously because we have a tiny pen!s."

        February 16, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
      • Jerv@Hurricane Passed

        LOL! That and his training bra is too big.

        February 16, 2011 at 3:25 pm |
      • Rigel54

        @Ryan: Who's talking about homeless, but if you're pushing the whole personal responsibility thing you're probably foreclosed because you bought way too much house with way too little income. Healthcare is a national issue, if you don't support universal healthcare (which I doubt you do) you have no business talking about insurance woes. High unemployment, same point, 8 (2000-2008) years of disastrous policies.

        So in your view of the world – the homeless person in New Orleans is much more important than the person who just got foreclosed upon, or cant pay their healthcare costs, or cant put food on the table because of high unemployment.

        Gotta love the shallow minded liberal point of view. Never thinking outside of "Me! Me! Me!" Land.

        February 16, 2011 at 11:43 pm |
    • Dgee

      That is sick and uncaring!

      February 16, 2011 at 12:45 pm |
      • Stephen Daedalus

        Behind what you see as sick and uncaring is a death's head humor at a terrible situation. You have a minority of people who make money from the NOLA culture, those who love it (period), and those such as NolaMom who can't get out. So which is uncaring?... Celebrating this culture as though it's not based in a city that is LITERALLY sinking into the gulf... or aknowledging that change occurs and making a coordinated effort to help people who want out?

        For those who want to stay until the inevitable... let them stay, but we don't need to spend federal money on them either.

        February 16, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
    • Frank

      Hear! Hear! This is exactly what I was thinking when I read the title of the article. I am SO SICK of hearing about that stupid hurricane. With so much else going on in the world both at home and abroad, who gives a flying frak about "The Food That Got Them Through"?

      February 16, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
      • Ali

        Don't click on the article if you are "so sick" of hearing about Katrina. I'm from New Orleans and lived their during and after Katrina. Clearly you've never been there so you really shouldn't be able to have an opinion on the article.

        February 16, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
      • NolaMom

        I think this article is more about this delicious dish .... and how good food can help to make a bad situation better ... geez, people, get a grip and have some shrimp etouffee ... you'll feel better ... promise!

        February 16, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
    • Texas Man

      HAHAHA I remember when Katrina happened...I celebrated actually by eating out at a local Sea Island restaurant. Good times good times. Still brings a smile to my face. Jumbo Shrimp.

      February 16, 2011 at 1:38 pm |
    • Steve P

      All I know is that food looks tasty!!

      February 16, 2011 at 1:43 pm |
    • Douglas

      This is front page news? Please. I lived in that dump for a decade and know why Venice doesn't slide off into the Gulf... because NOLA sux.

      February 16, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
      • Nicole@Douglas

        Douglas, the people of NOLA thank you for leaving. Your comment alone tells me that you were clearly not contributing much to the bottom line or the intelligence quotient. We can do without people like you.

        February 16, 2011 at 6:44 pm |
      • Rigel54

        Front page??? Douglas, you do realize you are on a computer, right?

        February 17, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
    • Ryan

      Ugh – when I seen the headline "The Food That Got Them Through".....why does "Medicaid" come to mind?

      February 16, 2011 at 2:27 pm |
      • Rigel54

        Ryan the Okie again. Suck prairie dust. You should be so lucky as to live here. Actually, I hope not. Stay where you are. It's clearly left you happy and content, full of warmth for the world. That's why you're trolling around looking for people to spit on.

        February 16, 2011 at 11:47 pm |
    • wjeri

      Very true! Get a bunch of poor people complaining and start the violins. Tired of hearing this stuff too! Not to think of all of that trash that washed down from New Orleans and people are eating the seafood from that. The area has one of the highest cancer rates in the U.S., now more I bet.

      February 16, 2011 at 2:27 pm |
    • wjeri

      I lived down there. The place sucks. Before Katrina I meant. Especially Slidell.

      February 16, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
      • Rigel54

        What went wrong? Couldn't get any? Couldn't hold a job? Nobody liked you (why?)? Was it the heat? None of the bars played disco?

        February 16, 2011 at 11:49 pm |
    • Tired of it!

      Along the Way......Even those from New Orleans are tired of hearing about Katrina. New Orleans is well-known for much more than Katrina!! The only people who are not tired of it is the media!!!!! period.

      February 16, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
      • pierce

        Odd but all over the south and rest of the country there are loads of people still relying on Katrina for their checks, be it RE housing, food, schools, medcial aid and spending money. Their badge is katrina.

        February 20, 2011 at 11:25 pm |
    • KittyKatastrophik

      To everyone who wants us to move the city somewhere else ... quick question.. WHERE THE @#$%^ ARE WE SUPPOSED TO MOVE AN ENTIRE CITY?!? (don't say north of the lake either, because then you are just showing your ignorance, because there is already cities there).
      Ps. Not all of New Orleans is below sea level .. it's a myth. there are certain parts, yes, but not large parts & def. not all of it. so, stfu & read a book.

      February 20, 2011 at 7:46 pm |
    • pierce

      Nothing can or will save new orleans, cesspool of the gulf.
      Blah, blah, its heritage, blah, blah blah its traditions and blah blah its art.
      The insurance industry and the govt. will go broke trying to fix this third world country hiding under a pretense of good dixieland and gumbo and prostitution but little else.

      Ask the 750,000 who have voted with their feet.

      February 20, 2011 at 11:22 pm |
1 2 3
| Part of