No, not Okinawa. We’re talking about the southern United States. New Orleans, to be precise. Did you know that you can try the delicious cuisine of this Louisiana city right here in Kansai?
C.C. Haydel opened Bistro New Orleans in Kita-Horie, Osaka in November 2012. A New Orleans native, he started serving up his family recipes. The gumbo is from his mother’s mother, the black-eyed peas are adapted from a white bean recipe from his paternal grandmother, and the oyster dressing comes from his father’s grandmother.
New Orleans is a city with a colourful history. In modern times, we know it as the city tragically struck by Hurricane Katrina ten years ago. But in the past, wave upon wave of immigration from the Caribbean, Europe, Africa and elsewhere in America, as well as as more than its fair share of conflict, have shaped New Orleans into a city unlike anywhere else in the US.
And this is reflected in its cuisine. A fusion of French, Spanish, Italian, Caribbean and African tastes, New Orleans food has been strongly influenced by the cultural backgrounds of the city’s inhabitants, both past and present. There’s a bit of spice in there, some herbs and plenty of seafood. C.C. tells us that these are the true flavours of New Orleans.
Gumbo is one of the definitive dishes of New Orleans and southern Louisiana, and appears in many forms. Gumbo almost always contains either the vegetable okra (in the spring/summer) or the herb filé (in the fall/winter), but these two ingredients are never used together. Creole gumbos originated in the city of New Orleans proper and usually contain a mix of meats and seafood. Most Cajun gumbos contain either meat or seafood. Not only does Gumbo’s distinctive taste come from its meat or seafood ingredients, it’s also enhanced by the background ingredients and the long, slow cooking process that draws out the flavours.
Just like in the real New Orleans, in C.C.’s restaurant you can experience live jazz and other entertainment. Try going on a Saturday night and enjoy some music over dinner, and perhaps a glass of red wine or two.
bistro New Orleans
Kawabe bldg 3rd, 1-15-10, Kitahorie, Nishi-ku, Osaka
By Life in Kansai