Jan C. Bradford traces the history of New Orleans desserts, from Bananas Foster and Croquembouche to Mile HIgh Pie and Calas.
Do you know anyone who is lactose intolerant? Chances are, you probably do! That’s because most people are at least slightly lactose intolerant, or may become so with age. But what exactly is lactose intolerance, and why does it seem to affect everyone differently? To find the answer, we can take a look into our genetic makeup and evolutionary history. But first, lets learn a little more about what lactose is and how it interacts with out body.
In South Louisiana, we know about the Acadians, who were deported by the British from Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island in Canada, beginning in 1755, and who settled in southwest Louisiana, becoming the “Cajuns.” We also know about the proud “French Creoles” in New Orleans. Both of these groups contributed to the “laissez le temp rouler” culture that we associate with the great state of Louisiana – and its food! But there were other groups of French immigrants who came to Louisiana and had a profound effect on the state’s cultural and economic development; they bore names now common in South Louisiana, like Chaisson, Aucoin, and Leroux.
The people who write about the South too often seem to be stuck in the past. I am not referring to the desire to understand the traditional so that we can move into the future. We can all benefit from that. Understanding tradition, even if you reject it, helps us all to understand each other. But Southern writers – and maybe all Southerners, but I am primarily talking about writing here – seem to only look backwards. “If you use modern ingredients in this, you are being inauthentic.” They seem to see the food of the South as static.
Historians have only recently begun to look at the table for clues to culture and the relationship between culture and politics. Imagine how fascinating high school history might have seemed if instead of talking about cherry trees when studying George Washington, we had talked about his distillery. Realizing that no one drank water would have made for an interesting understanding of the times.