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Gumbo is a hearty soup made with a dark roux, which is a combination of slowly toasted flour and oil. A well-seasoned stock or broth is added to the pot with lighter meats, such as chicken or shrimp. The meat simmers together with the typical seasonings of onion, celery, and bell pepper ("the trinity") for a number of hours. Other typical ingredients are parsley, hot peppers, and occasionally other vegetables, such as tomato. Sausage and other processed meats can be added as well.

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Red Beans and Rice is an emblematic dish of Louisiana Creole cuisine (not originally of Cajun cuisine). Traditionally made on Mondays, it consists of red beans, vegetables (onion and celery), spices (thyme, cayenne pepper, and bay leaf), and pork bones left over from Sunday dinner, cooked together slowly in a pot and served over rice. It is an old custom from the time when ham was a Sunday meal and Monday was washday. A pot of beans could sit on the stove and simmer while the women were busy scrubbing clothes.

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Jambalaya originates from Louisiana's rural, low-lying swamp country where crawfish (aka "mudbugs"), shrimp, oysters, alligator, duck, turtle, boar, venison and other wild meats were readily available. Any variety or combination of meats, including chicken or turkey, may be used to make jambalaya. The Gulf Coast area's geographical basin (including Mississippi, Texas, Alabama, and Louisiana) also provided an exceptionally nutritive soil, and an environment in which rice flourished. Thus the combination of the two foods was quite natural. Jambalaya is also very similar to the Spanish dish Paella.

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The Muffaletta (with numerous alternate spellings) is a type of Sicilian bread, as well as a sandwich in New Orleans that is made with the bread. The bread is a large, round, and somewhat flat loaf, around 10 inches across. It has a sturdy texture, and is described as being somewhat similar to foccacia. The sandwich is popular with city natives and visitors, and has been described as "one of the great sandwiches of the world." A typical Muffaletta consists of one Muffaletta loaf, split horizontally. The loaf is then covered with a marinated olive salad, then layers of Cappicola, salami, Mortadella, and provolone. The olive salad is considered the heart of the sandwich, and consists primarily of olives, along with celery, cauliflower, and carrots. These ingredients are combined, seasonings are added, covered in olive oil and allowed to combine for at least 24 hours.

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A Po' Boy (also po-boy, po boy, or poor boy) is a traditional submarine sandwich from Louisiana. It consists of meat or seafood, usually fried, served on a French baguette. Seafood versions are served hot and include fried shrimp, oysters, crawfish, trout, soft-shell crab, or catfish. A "dressed" po' boy has lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise. The term “po' boy” was coined in a New Orleans restaurant owned by Clovis and Benny Martin, who was a former streetcar conductor. In 1929, during a four-month strike against the streetcar company, Martin served his former colleagues free sandwiches. Martin’s restaurant workers jokingly referred to the strikers as “poor boys,” and soon the sandwiches themselves took on the name. In Louisiana dialect, this is naturally shortened to "po' boy." The national and international reputation of New Orleans cooking is largely based on its grand restaurants, but it is the po' boy that has had the greatest day-to-day impact on the local diet, even in the era of modern fast food. Many people still have it at least once or twice a week - it is eaten for lunch more than any other single dish. Offering seafood po' boys meant having a stove (or fryer) and having someone who could fry seafood. And if you were frying fish, shrimp, or oysters for sandwiches, it didn't take much extra to fry them for seafood plates. And if you had a stove for cooking seafood, it didn't take much extra to also offer Red Beans and Rice and Jambalaya. Many of the classic New Orleans neighborhood restaurants are in this mold.

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Pain Perdu is a local variation of French toast from New Orleans. Literally 'lost bread,' Pain Perdue is usually made from leftover New Orleans-style French bread, which resembles the French baguette, but has a crunchier exterior and a lighter interior. The bread is sliced on a bias and dipped into a mixture of egg, milk, sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla. The slices are pan-fried in butter and traditionally served dusted with powdered sugar.

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A Beignet (pronounced ben–YAY) is a pastry made from deep-fried dough and sprinkled with confectioner's sugar.

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Praline (pronounced PRAH-LEEN, PRAH-LIN-AY or PRAY-LEEN) is a family of confections made from nuts and sugar syrup. In Europe, the nuts are usually almonds or sometimes hazelnuts. In Louisiana and Texas, pecans are almost always used, and cream is often incorporated into the mixture. Praline candy patties are one of the foods most associated with New Orleans.

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Café au Lait, literally "coffee with milk", is a French coffee drink prepared by mixing coffee and scalded (not steamed) milk. It is similar to Italian latte, but made with drip - or more popularly French-press - coffee instead of espresso, and with scalded milk in a 1:1 ratio.

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