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Monday, May 1, 2017

What’s new to eat at Jazz Fest

Posted By on Mon, May 1, 2017 at 1:22 PM

click to enlarge The crab-stuffed beignet, from Loretta's Authentic Pralines. - HELEN FREUND
  • HELEN FREUND
  • The crab-stuffed beignet, from Loretta's Authentic Pralines.

Whether it’s the cochon de lait po-boy from Love at First Bite, Prejean’s pheasant, quail and andouille gumbo or a bowl of peppery crawfish Monica, everyone has their go-to favorites for Jazz Fest grub.

While many popular vendors and items remain constant, there are always a few new things to try. Here's what's new this year.

Cuban music and art are highlighted at the Cultural Exchange Pavilion, and New Orleans’ own Congreso Cubano has a booth outside the tent offering traditional Cuban fare. There’s ropa vieja, a braised and shredded beef dish, prepared with sofrito (what owner Orlando Vega calls the Cuban holy trinity) wine and tomato sauce. The dish, which translates to “old clothes” because of the look of the shredded beef, is arguably the country’s most well-known dish. There also are frijoles negros (black beans with rice) and fried tostones (smashed green plantains) served with a garlicky mojo sauce. For dessert, there are paletas de café con leche, or Cuban coffee-flavored popsicles.

The lump crabmeat-stuffed beignets at Loretta’s, the praline and sweet potato cookie stand, are a decadent indulgence, and every bit worth the $8 price tag (even if they do disappear in a couple of bites). Here, buttery hot crab is folded into puffy golden beignets and served with spicy remoulade.

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Also new, the Rhythmpourium serves as a lounge where red wine, white wine and prosecco is sold on tap for $8 a glass. For those planning to stay a while, a carafe is available for $41. While most food vendors only accept cash, credit cards are accepted in the tent.

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