As most of you know, I live in New Orleans, a great place for food. However, there’s a couple of cuisines that get overshadowed by our awesome creole, Cajun diet. So here’s my jealousy list-essentially foods I have a hard time finding within my city or foods that taste better somewhere else.
1.) Pierogies- I can’t tell you the first time I had pierogies, but I know it was outside of New Orleans. These are dumplings usually filled with potatoes and cheese and cooked in butter and onions. They’re usually associated with Poland, and there’s not much of a Polish presence in New Orleans hence the total lack of pierogies. I have found a pop up kitchen that makes them on Sundays, but I would really kill for access to pierogies 7 days a week.
2.) Milanesa Napolitana – This is a lightly breaded steak topped with tomato sauce, cheese, and sometimes ham that’s popular in Argentina. Yes, I know I can make it at home fairly easily, but the wide and easy availability of them in Buenos Aires completely spoiled me. There’s a couple of places that make just the breaded steak but without the accompaniments, and most of the time it comes out more like chicken fried steak then a lightly breaded crust. This was my go to lunch for around 6 months and I miss it dearly
3.) Kolaches- Going back to Eastern Europe for my culinary wants, I love kolaches–they’re essentially fruit filled dumplings. I first had these in Houston during my Katrina semester, a friend of mine couldn’t believe I had no idea what a kolache was and forced me to have one. It was awesome. Kolaches actually started me on eating breakfast again. (for a small period of time I was too cool and too rushed in the morning to eat breakfast–I still dont know what I was thinking). New Orleans is still clueless to the kolache and I’m about to beg some eastern europeans to move here and set up shop.
4.) Chinese Beef Jerky- I know this one sounds weird, but there’s several Chinese people that work in my department that get a shipment of about 50 lbs of Chinese beef jerky and other assorted Chinese goodies and split it amongst themselves. I asked to try and piece and it beat the crap out of a slim jim. They’re complexly seasoned, wonderfully spicy, and subtlety sweet. In case you’re wondering, I’m pitching in on the next order and trading them some deer sausage that I happen to have cause my family likes to hunt. You should totally get your hands on this if possible!
5.) Falafel- There is falafel in New Orleans and I always thought it was okay, but it was never my favorite thing on the menu. When I lived in D.C. for my internship, I stumbled upon a restaurant that was based solely around falafel. This is where I saw the potential that New Orleans was missing out on, this restaurant had so many toppings and sauces you could add to your falafel…it was amazing. Falafel can be a vehicle for spicy, savory, or sweet flavors and it seems other cities take advantage of it better than us.
What are your favorite foods that aren’t available in your city? What else should I add to my list?