POPSUGAR Celebrity

11 New Orleans Food Essentials

Oct 2 2013 - 12:34pm

Season 11 of Top Chef premieres on Bravo tonight [1], and what better way to get into the competition — which takes place in New Orleans — than by stocking your larder with The Big Easy's most iconic food items? Although many of these specialties, from hot sauce and seasoning blends to beignets and chicory coffee, are local food favorites, you can find a surprising number of them online, and they're ready to be shipped straight to your belly.

Source: Flickr [2], Susannah Chen

Italian Olive Salad

You need not travel to the French Quarter to get your mouth around a muffuletta [3]. Stock your home pantry with Boscoli Italian Olive Salad [4], the crucial ingredient in this legendary cold-cut sandwich. This stuff is also great tossed into pasta or spooned over baked chicken breasts.

Zapp's Potato Chips

These legendary New Orleans potato chips [5] have an extracrunchy, unctuous texture that goes great with a muffuletta. Try the Voodoo or Cajun Crawtator flavors for extra Louisiana flair.

Photo: Susannah Chen


A Louisiana sausage made with pork and rice, boudin is a favorite New Orleans delicacy, though one of the harder ones to find outside the Big Easy. Thankfully, you can order this Cajun meat online [6] anytime you crave it.

Photo: Nancy Einhart

Beignet Mix

Cafe du Monde — famous for its indulgent, powdered sugar-drenched French breakfast doughnuts — also sells a beignet mix [7] that makes it (probably too) easy to fry up beignets at home.

Source: Flickr User Tibbygirl [8]

Coffee and Chicory

Cafe du Monde's also-legendary café au laits have a distinctive flavor that comes from coffee blended with chicory. Make your own cup with a tin of Cafe du Monde chicory coffee [9] to wash down your beignets.

Crystal Hot Sauce

Tabasco may be the better-known brand, but the lower-profile Crystal Hot Sauce is a tabletop must-have for any New Orleans meal, from red beans and rice to collard greens.

Source: Flickr User Smoorenburg [10]


Pralines — clumps of pecans bound together by caramelized sugar and sometimes chocolate — are a go-to after-dinner confection in New Orleans. Pick up a bag from French Quarter standby Aunt Sally's [11].

Abita Beer

You can find Abita Beer, brewed in nearby Abita Springs, LA, in just about every bar and restaurant in New Orleans (and there are a lot). The Amber is a classic choice, but the Turbo Dog and Purple Haze are also worth a sip.

Source: Flickr User Laverrue [12]


This "spirit of New Orleans" provides the essential anise flavor in the city's famed sazerac cocktail [13]. To make a sazerac, first coat your glass with Herbsaint [14], then toss it out before muddling sugar and bitters and adding rye.

Tony Chachere's Original Creole Seasoning

The salty, spicy Tony Chachere's Original Creole Seasoning [15] blend claims to be "great on everything." It makes a great spice rub for meats and barbecue and also adds a kick to soups, stews, fish, scrambled eggs, you name it.

Source: Flickr User Schipulites [16]

King Cake

If you're not yet brave enough to make your own King Cake [17], do as most New Orleanians do and serve a store-bought version. You can even order pretty tasty King Cakes online [18].

Photo: Camilla Salem

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