The French brought two amazing food contributions to New Orleans and is definitely known well at the french quarters : Beignets and Coffee mixed with chicory. And if you want to get a feel for it, Visit the world famous Café du Monde. That’s the first place everybody in new orleans will recommend you to visit in French quarters – we started hearing the name from the time we decided to visit the city of new orleans – We even got that as the first tip while check-in at the hotel.
Beignets are a French fried type of dough nut, which is different from the traditional dough nut we all know by the fact that it is square and it lack the whole inside. It is like a soft pillow made out of fluffy dough, which traditionally is served with powdered sugar, but can also be served with fruits or jam. They are also known as fried dough nuts.
The mixture of chicory and coffee gives a taste similar to chocolate, that might be the reason why this type of serving coffee became so popular. A little history on the combination is here (Straight from Café du Monde official website ) :
“The taste for coffee and chicory was developed by the French during their civil war. Coffee was scarce during those times, and they found that chicory added body and flavor to the brew. The Acadians from Nova Scotia brought this taste and many other french customs (heritage) to Louisiana. Chicory is the root of the endive plant. Endive is a type of lettuce. The root of the plant is roasted and ground. It is added to the coffee to soften the bitter edge of the dark roasted coffee. It adds an almost chocolate flavor to the Cafe Au Lait ”
Since it is a traditional recipe, it is also a part of the menu of Café du Monde, alongside with chicory coffee and café au lait.
Café du Monde is actually a traditional coffee stand, which was first opened in the year 1862, in the New Orleans French Market. Since its opening, this coffee stand is opened 24 h a day, seven days a week, and you can find it closed only on Christmas Day or whenever it is threatened by any hurricane. Today you can still find Café du Monde in the French Quarter in New Orleans, Louisiana, on Decatur Street. It’s menu has not changed at all over time, so you will still find the traditional chicory coffee, café au lait, which means half coffee and half hot milk, chocolate milk or simple, orange juice made out of freshly squeezed oranges and, the only food on the menu, the French beignets, the same as they were made centuries ago.
I am also surprised to find that beignets are very easy to make, as a homemade treat. You just need a package of active yeast (1/4 ounce), ¼ cup of warm water, 1 cup of evaporated milk, ½ cup of canola oil (or butter), ¼ cup of sugar, 1 egg, 4 – ½ cups of self-rising flour, oil for frying and confectioners’ sugar.
Even if they are tasty, a 2 oz. beignet contain about 147 calories, so if you want to keep fit then you should not create a daily habit out of this dish. To have a complete idea about this recipe you should know that beignet is pronounced “be-nye”. Now you are a complete connoisseur. Of course, as any recipe, their composition may vary and there are variants where a beignet is made with potatoes, sea food, vegetable and fruits of any kind. Also so you know Cafe du Monde sells the their famous beignet Mix and coffee at Amazon: Please find the links below :
If you are in New Orleans and want to grab a coffee and a beignet, you should know that there are plenty of places to do that. Like Café Beignet, Coquette, Morning Call Coffee Stand or Street Car Cafe. But everyone will tell you that the best beignets in New Orleans are at Café du Monde.
Check out a video that shows how the Beignets are prepared at the famous Cafe du Monde.