The Flavors of Southwest Louisiana Mardi Gras

The Flavors of Southwest Louisiana Mardi Gras
All Things King Cake

King cake is a traditional Mardi Gras dessert, and you’ll find it at pretty much any gathering during the holiday. Some restaurants and eateries in Lake Charles have even taken things to the next level with fun king cake-themed spin-off foods. 

Traditional King Cakes
Cinnamon’s Bakery Eatery serves amazing traditional king cakes. They come with different filling options such as cream cheese, Bavarian cream, raspberry, strawberry, and apple. They also ship their cakes so you can send one home to your loved ones.

King Cake Ice Pop
Pops and Rockets is a local ice-pop stand. They have a pop called “Alive and King Cake” (all of the names are a play on popular 1980s songs), which is a king cake-flavored pop made with cream cheese, cinnamon, and colored sugar. Sinfully delicious! 

King Cake Fries
Botsky’s is a specialty hot dog joint in downtown Lake Charles that has the best side dish known to man: king cake fries. These sweet potato fries are drizzled with a cream cheese glaze and sprinkled with purple, green, and gold sugar. Owner Mike Krajicek calls them “Krewe de Patate Douce” (Krewe of the Sweet Potato).

Iowa Chicken Run

One of the most unique celebrations of Mardi Gras in the Acadiana region is the chicken run, or Courir de Mardi Gras. Those coming to celebrate Mardi Gras in Southwest Louisiana can participate in this tradition on Fat Tuesday in the little town of Iowa, Louisiana. Dressed in colorful costumes and pointed hats, people gather around for the beginning of the festivities, where the parade captain throws a chicken in the air and the group chases after it. Once the chicken has been caught, the crowd parades down the street begging for ingredients to make a community gumbo. It all concludes with a zydeco dance. The chicken run is an event not to be missed and will immerse you in the culture and traditions of Southwest Louisiana.

This content originally appeared in the January/ February 2016 issue of Cooking with Paula Deen magazine. ©2016 Hoffman Media

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