For our fourth Tour of the South stop, we headed down to New Orleans. And we came back and boxed up five awesome things for our subscribers. (And if you weren't one of those, don't worry! You can snag each item below as part of our New Orleans Gift Batch.)
Bag of rice from Cajun Grain
This bag of locally grown rice will have you hooked the first time it's cooked. Its tantalizing nutty aroma will have you salivating before the first bite. Because the rice is milled as close as possible to its ship date, it's as fresh as possible, preventing that cooked hard rice texture. Added bonus: the nutrition level is at its peak when you get it (to keep this freshness, store it in the freezer). Cajun Grain rice is in the hands of the farmer from planting until packaging. For those concerned about gluten-free foods, this closed system is what sets them apart from almost all other rice brands. The equipment the rice is harvested and hauled with has never been used on a field of wheat, barley or rye. The bins that the rice is stored in have never stored wheat, barley or rye. This prevents cross-contamination “from farm to foodie”. And they're small enough to check on your rice in the fields, everyday. Now that’s quality control!
Hot sauce from Cochon
We hope you enjoy this traditionally crafted Cajun classic. The warm flavors and mild heat of ripe Santa Fe Peppers, a hint of vinegar, garlic and subtle smoke make it a perfect fit for grilled or braised pork, adds some heat to grilled fish and shrimp and spice to soups and stews. What better accoutrement could we offer during this tour stop in New Orleans? Best of all, the sauce is a product of a fantastic restaurant. At Cochon, Chef Link has reconnected with his culinary roots, serving the traditional Cajun Southern dishes he grew up with. Chef Link and Chef/Co-owner Stephen Stryjewski are working with locally sourced pork, fresh produce and seafood, focusing on traditional methods, creating authentic flavors of Cajun country. The restaurant is set in a rustic, yet contemporary interior of a renovated New Orleans warehouse. So the next time you're working or playing, stop in and sit a spell.
Fruit syrup from Locally Preserved
Locally Preserved allows real people to eat regionally grown and produced foods, based on season. The all natural syrup in this batch is made using produce sourced in season from the likes of Louisiana, Mississippi & Alabama. This fruit syrup will make it super easy for home chefs to make chef-quality cocktails, mocktails, glazes, vinaigrettes, marinades, sauces—you get the idea. We really fell in love with what Emily Vanlandingham is making due to not only her commitment to locally-sourced items that make delicious products, but also her view that consumers can have the wholesomeness of the fruit without all that artificial nonsense. "Customers thank me all day long because they just can’t get any sugar-free products with just the berries," she says.
Box of handmade caramels from Maxine & Ila's
Here's a sweet story to read while you're making these caramels disappear: Maxine and Ila's Caramels were born from the owners' love of cooking, caramel and the memories of their grannies. David's grandmother, Maxine, was born and raised in Monrovia, California. Donna's grandmother, Ila, was born in Coushatta, Louisiana and moved to New Orleans at age 18 to marry her sweetheart in the Navy. Although Maxine and Ila never met, they certainly had a little (big) something to do with David and Donna finding each other in this big world. With Ila's antique pot, and local ingredients, Donna and David strive to make the best tasting caramel you have ever had! Maxine & Ila's use only local all natural ingredients, with no additives to preserve the pure essence of New Orleans food and flavors. Whether it's their unforgettable caramels you're getting in this batch or their caramel sauce, each product they crank out is made to love.
Bar of soap from Sweet Olive Soap Works
Emily Davis' story couldn't be more authentically Crescent City: born at Charity Hospital in the aftermath of the great flood of ’78 and brought home in a canoe on the still-flooded streets of New Orleans, her first sentence was “Throw me sumpthin’, Mista!” All that said, she's determined to make soap the hard way. Sweet Olive Soap Works was created out of Emily's intense desire to promote the healthier aspects of the region and culture that she loves. Her grandmother Anna Mae had been a soapmaker, owned her own business and dedicated countless summer afternoons to sharing her skills with Emily. After nearly two decades of experimenting with Anna Mae's recipes and inventing many more of her own along the way, she became convinced that continuing the family tradition was her calling. Whenever possible, ingredients are locally sourced and Sweet Olive Soap Works is proud to work in partnership with environmentally responsible businesses and individuals throughout the state of Louisiana to bring you a truly home-grown bath & body experience.