If you were to trace the history of a delicious plate of gumbo you would find that although the word might be ubiquitous; with the exception of a few mandatory ingredients, a good ole pot of that Bayou gumbo begins with some of that precious Louisiana water and the addition of chicken stock, sea food caught on the bayou; blue crabs, shrimp; and meat, vegetables and seasoning. Once the pot simmers to the taste, the gumbo is thickened with the Choctaw spice filé powder (dried and ground sassafras leaves) this is favored by Creoles while the Cajuns prefer a French roux (flour and oil). No matter which version you try the constant ingredients known as the Holy Trinity: Celery, Onion and Bell Pepper will be forever present. And now on rare occasions you will find some gumbo affectionados eating a bowl stuffed with some good ole African okra.
Crawfish, on the other hand, may look like they would be complicated to eat, but once you get the hang of it you'll be consuming them by the pound.
In Louisiana, half the fun of eating crawfish is getting to the meat with traditions varying from parish to parish. Although there are a whole lot of ways to cook crawfish, the Louisiana way is to boil them with that good ole hot and spicy seasoning. While the crawfish is cooking it’s time for catching up with friends and relatives and when it’s time to eat this is what you do:
• Grab one and pinch the head between two fingers with one hand and hold the tail with the other and give it a twist.
• After the head comes off suck the juice out of the head first; this part is considered a delicacy.
• Pinch the shell of the tail with your fingers to crack and remove the meat and make sure to discard the stuff you might not want to eat.
The claws are the easy part; simply crack, suck the juice from the claw and eat the delicious morsels of meat. And repeat.
As you begin to understand the essence of the flavor of Louisiana you will also understand that it is these flavors when tasted,that help us to reaffirm our most cherished family memories; the times when we came together as a family in celebration while enjoying the fruits of our rich history.
The Long Beach Bayou Festival offers patrons a weekend filled with cultural music, cuisine, and dance from a place called ‘home’-- New Orleans and the Louisiana Bayou Country. You will delight in the specialties of Cajun and Creole cuisine and savor the many delicacies and flavors of the Big Easy.
LOVE CRAWFISH? At the Long Beach Bayou Festival, not only will you feel like you are walking on Bourbon Street in New Orleans, but you can test your tastings in the CRAWFISH EATING CONTEST where you can win prizes and just have a great ‘ole time.
In addition, you can participate in voting for THE BEST King of Cajun cuisine in Los Angeles, CA. The Long Beach Bayou Festival has narrowed it down to the top 6.
Just visit http://www.longbeachbayou.com, click the ‘CONTESTS’
The Long Beach Bayou Festival; a Zydeco, Blues, Creole and Cajun Festival, is celebrating its 28th year taking place Saturday & Sunday, June 21-22, 2014 at the Rainbow Lagoon Park in Long Beach, CA.
Gracing the stage:
Otis Taylor Band, Sonny Green, Delta Groove All Stars, Jeffery Broussard & the, Creole Cowboys, Barbara Morrison with Al Williams, Southside Slim +
The festival features two stages of music: one with Blues music, and one with Zydeco and Cajun music, plus continuous dancing on a large covered wooden dance floor and easy dance instruction for all ages. The Festival also boasts a festive costumed Mardi Gras parade led each day by the New Orleans Traditional Jazz Band, and a colorful French Quarter marketplace with gumbo, crawfish, etoufee, hush puppies, red beans and rice, and other Cajun & Creole delicacies; plus coffees and desserts such as sweet potato pie, beignets and an array of cobblers. With crawfish eating contests for the whole family, the Kids' Corner also has extensive children's activities for kids and teens of all ages include making costumes, masks and umbrellas for the Mardi Gras Parade, arts and crafts, storytelling, magic, sing-a-longs, kids' shows and more.
The event is presented by Benoit Entertainment Group, LLC. A portion of the profits will benefit LALA (Louisiana to Los Angeles), a non-profit organization which raises educational funds for local youth to attend college.
Benoit Entertainment Group. LLC. c/o:
The Long Beach Bayou Festival
3505 Long Beach Blvd., Suite 2G
Long Beach, CA 90807-3947