Eric Cormier is a freelance writer for Louisiana Cookin' and sent us this article he wrote for American Press: Food, music and culture in Big Easy are priceless
For all the talk about what it will take to rebuild southeast Louisiana, the folks in charge need to remember what put our state on the map: music, culture and food.
Something tells me that when all the water is pumped out of the Big Easy, and homes and businesses are rebuilt there and in neighboring towns, the smell of beans and rice, chicken bonne femme, and Creole gumbo will have more to do with our state’s rebirth than anything else politicians can try to take credit for.
Remember, if we cook it, they will come. Bank on it!
Our homegrown cooks are the fabric that holds this deeply mixed and eclectic tapestry of Louisiana life together. They hold the keys to Italian, African, Indian, German, Creole, French and Spanish
Hurricane Katrina may have destroyed buildings, put people out of work and spread residents all over the country, but it didn't destroy the spirit of our cooks.
Think about it — this great migration of residents out of the state that we've witnessed only means that for the time being, Grandma's cornbread is being cooked in California now. Somebody's aunt’s Creole gumbo is brewing in Ohio, while Grandpa’s pork and sausage jambalaya is being stirred in Arkansas.
A few days ago, Marcy McCall, editor of Louisiana Cookin' magazine, sent a mass e-mail out to staffers and freelance writers. She wanted everybody to check in.
McCall, who lives in New Orleans, is one of the thousands who fled the city. She’s in Missouri now, safe and sound, but feeling the need for some Louisiana cooking.
Our food is her passion, and she’s counting the days when the pots of great Louisiana cooks will start heating up again in the Crescent City. "I can tell you one thing, there is no better food anywhere! And
after one and a half weeks of eating out and having terrible food, I am dreaming about my favorite Louisiana restaurants," she wrote.
The day will come when the powers that be have to decide the future of the ravaged areas of Louisiana. Who knows what the final results will be? All we can hope for is that what makes New Orleans and Louisiana special remains the same.
Insurance adjustors and bankers can figure out the material loss that our state has suffered, but they can't put a price on what makes us who we are. Our food, music and culture are priceless.
Spice of Life