tv New Orleans Cuisine CSPAN July 4, 2018 2:40pm-3:01pm EDT
and current events. >> be sure to join us july 21st and 22nd when we'll feature our visit to alaska. watch "alaska weekend" on c-span, c-span.org, or listen on the c-span radio app. we're outside of cafe dumonde in the french quarter. they're known for serving a hickory coffee but that's just one ingredient. we learn about the history and flavors of new orleans food. >> food here takes a much larger piece than it does anywhere else. we live to eat in new orleans. you can stand on the street corner and you'll hear somebody walking down the street talking about what they had to eat yesterday, what they're going to have for dinner, how they cooked
those ducks that they just shot at the hunting camp. we are a city obsessed with food. one of the greatest confusions about the food of new orleans, is it creole or cajun? what is it? well, originally, you see, creole and cajun food were two completely different kinds of cuisines. cajun food was big-pot cooking. it was done by the cajun people over in southwest louisiana. creole food or the word creole itself comes from the hispanic word which means native. so the first creoles were the first native offspring of the french and spanish settlers, and their food is really city food. it's more refined. it's not as spicy as perhaps cajun food is, but it's very well seasoned. and we're situated right across
from the french market, the site of the old french market, which there was an active market here in the city from 1718 from its very earliest days. and so with the bounty of everything that was available in season, fresh, and local, using french and spanish traditional preparations, this indigenous, true indigenous cuisine developed, and that is creole cooking. the hallmark of creole cooking, first of all, we have to say, the no matter what it is we're cooking, it almost invariably starts off, first, you make a roux. and that is of course a combination of flour and oil. traditionally it's a french word, it was a french preparation originally, and in france it's butter and flour, but here in new orleans, butter would burn before the roux gets
to the dark color that we like it to be. once you've got that dark roux, the other thing that goes into everything is celery, bell pepper, and onions. that is actually what i like to refer to as the creole mir poi because of course the traditional french was onions, celery, and carrots. when those first french people got here, undoubtedly they brought with them their seeds, a lot of their ingredients, intending to carry on the way hay h they had in france. here in the city we're painfully of being at least seven feet under sea level no matter where you are, how in the world are you to going to grow a carrot? you can't grow a carrot. you can't grow a carrot in a place where you can't even dig a decent grave because the water table is too high. so that's how i believe the carrot came out and the pepper went in to what is really the
creole mir poi. so the crux of our flavor, the most important base of everything is that dark creole roux with the celery, bell pepper, and onion added. creole food is also typified by tomato. cajun food tends to be brown. creole food is often red, often tomato based. they just love the color and they love the flavor. and of course there's nothing as delicious as a creole tomato in season. so that is another very important element. tujague's restaurant, one of new orleans' gems, it's a the oldest, continuously operated restaurant in new orleans. it dates back to 1856. and there have only been three owners to tujague's, so the
traditions have remained constant and authentic here. gumbo is probably the most emblematic dish of new orleans. sometimes the word gumbo is used to describe even who we are as a people. a gumbo is a very personal thing. here at tujague's, we have a very typical gumbo that is a sea leg gumbo, so it not just comes from the roux but also from file powder. it's the tender young leafs of sassafras which was introduced by the choctaw indians. and it has a very unusual side effect of being added to a hot liquid, it thickens, literally thickens the liquid that it goes into. and so some gumbos will have
file powder as a thickener behidb besides the roux and some will have okra. the most fascinating thing is where does it get its name? the choctaw indians, the word they used for the file powder, file is the french word, meaning thread because if you add too much it can give it a thready, stringy, odd texture, the choctaw, they called those sassafras leaves kombo, k-o-m-b-o. the african-american slaves here in new orleans, many came from west africa, they spoke the ban indian tu language, and the word for okra was kombo. so lots of people believe gumbo gets its name from that word for okra. but how can we ever tell?
was it the choctaws and kombo or was it the african slaves? this is a mystery i don't think we'll ever solve. this is combination rumelad. the original sauce you still find in france. it's a mayonnaise-based sauce that has capers, pickles, and parsley in it. but when the sauce came across the atlantic ocean, it changed. of course it probably changed because of refrigeration or lack thereof. mayonnaise is a very dicey issue if you don't have that refrigeration. so consequently, instead of the possible deadly consequence of the mayonnaise-based roumelad sauce, it dramatically changed in new orleans and it became a
fiery kissing cousin with a base of what's known as creole mustard. creole mustard is a coarse, grain, dark brown, kind of like a german mustard that is spicy and delicious, and that's what forms the basis. you can even see the little mustard seed s in there of that traditional new orleans red roumelade. again and again in new orleans we will find dishes that perhaps came in a very pure form from france but got tweaked just a little bit when it got here. the sauce is a perfect example of that. and yet conversely, we also here in new orleans operate what are almost food museums. in some ofrestaura
restaurants, places lake antoine's, you will see this magical french fry called a pomme souffle. it was invented in france in the 1800s. it is like a french fry but it is cooked twice so it puffs up, making this delicious, airy, crispy bite of hot potato that is like nothing else. much to my surprise, i discovered back in the '80s that french people had forgotten the pomme souffle. it wasn't on menus. you couldn't find it here in france. but here in new orleans it continued on exactly as it always did, because we are real sticklers for tradition here. now, there are specific foods that center around some of our traditions. king cake. it's not carnival time in new orleans unless there's king cakes everywhere. and that goes on throughout the entire 40 days of lent.
the poor boy sandwich is one of our most iconic dishes, and it was created in 1929 during a streetcar strike. it was those strikers who were originally the poor boy.boys. one of the things that is most important to understand is it's really all about the bread. new orleans french bread is distinctly different. it's crusty and soft and beautiful on the inside. those original poor boy loaves were designed to be a sandwich designed to feed an entire family with one sandwich. it was invented at the martin brothers grocers. two brother who is had been streetcar conductors felt very sorry for those starving poor boys who were striking for a
living wage. they set out with their french bread baker, an italian man to create a sandwich big enough to feed a whole sandwich. they sketched out on a piece of brown paper just how long that loaf swrouwould have to be and did one other innovation to it. instead of being slightly pointed as a traditional baguette would be, they blunted the end so whoever got the end cut of the sandwich shouldn't get the short end of the deal. the poor buy sandwich gets its name from the streetcar strike and there's a poor boy loaf. we do know how to spell and e nounsuate here. it was a result of that. >> this is an off the menu special meal.
the second owners were partners. madame had been involved working. that is where she learned this special preparation of chicken. it's unique and delicious because the chicken is fried without any batter or coating. it's just browned and fried. the powe tape ttatoes are fried same oil. the whole thing is heavily sprinkled with fresh garlic and fresh parsley chopped together. it's delicious but you do have to order it in advance because it takes almost an hour to prepare. we are standing at america's
oldest stand up bar heerp at tujague's restaurant. the grasshopper, that famous desert cocktail was invented in 1918 on the eve of prohibition. we'll show you exactly how to make it. you ready? we start off with an equal poor of white and dark add a little bit of heavy cream. the whole thing is, of course, over ice. we give it a good shake. to blend wilt and make it all frothy and beautiful. then it's poured into a steamed glass and topped with a little brandy floater.
beautiful. here it is. that perfect grasshopper cocktail. cheers. hurricane katrina changed the whole game. for the first time since 1718, we had a completely clean slate. well, sort of. it was kind of messy after the flood but the slate was clean. we had an opportunity to do two things. number one, the populist of the city realized how endangered our life here really is. it all seemed to matter more. it seemed to matter more that it
was preserved and the practice di -- tradition was being carried forward. based on that change of population the food began to change. we have seen a greater diversion in the kinds of food served, the kind of restaurants we have and an explosion in the restaurant business like nothing new orleans has ever seen before. almost 14 years after hurricane katrina, we have twice as many restaurants operating in new orleans as we did before the storm.
when visitors come here, the most important thing is they have an authentic food experience whether it's trying a poor boy sandwich or having a bowl of gumbo. trying to pick crawfish for the first time. it's all delicious. that's what i want our visitors to experience and then go home with a really special food memory they created here in new orleans.
one thing i'd like to mention as an example houf we over look that period, that post-1865 and 1866 with recently chief of staff john kelly said in october he said it was loyalty to state first back then and men and women disagreed. it's this, we all didn't know what was going on. that's not entirely true as my
book points out. that is that the united states government always maintained that lee and davis were committing treason and had and that article three of the constitution was where the crime of treason was crime and only defined in the constitution. after the civil war the president of the united states andrew johnson, the chief justice of the supreme court salmon chase, the attorney general of the united states james speed and a federal judge in virginia, all four of those men felt that treason had been committed and the confederate leaders needed to be punished. i think we have to be careful of the both sidesism when we think about the united states government's position on this.
james speed was from kentucky. underwood was from virginia but he was a northerner. he was from new york state and moved to virginia as an adult and had been a tutor and that's how he met his wife. in any event, that's one part of this sort of missing legal case that i think we have to consider. >> you can watch the entire program today at 6:00 p.m. eastern on our weekly series, the civil war. this is american history t only on c-span 3. 75 years ago in 1943, the memphis belle became one first b-73 bombers to not be shot down. next on real america, the
memphis belle. the story of a flying fortress created for the office of war information by hollywood director william wyler and a crew of photographers. this documents several missions of the bomber in 1943 including scenes of combat over german territory. more than 25,000 u.s. heavy bomber crew men were killed in combat and about 8,000 of the heavy bombers were destroyed. selected for preservation by the national film registry in 2001, this is about 40 minutes.