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  • Overview
  • Mardi Gras Cocktails
  • Our Best New Orleans Recipes
  • Shrimp Jambalaya
  • Fat Tuesday Desserts

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EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT

Mardi Gras

Some call it Carnival, but in New Orleans the festive celebration is called Mardi Gras, and it’s always a party--a big party. The season of Carnival starts on the Feast of the Epiphany, January 6, and culminates on the day before Ash Wednesday, otherwise known as “Fat Tuesday,” which in French is "Mardi Gras." It is considered the last hurrah of feast and revelry before the start of Lent, with its 30 days of fasting.

 

The early part of Carnival in New Orleans features formal, invitation-only balls; the famous parades start about two weeks before Mardi Gras day, Fat Tuesday. New Orleans is packed with visitors, the streets thronged with revelers watching the dozens of parades, a mix of “old line” krewes with traditional courts of kings and queens, and their parades of floats, some more than a hundred years old, and the newer, larger “Super Krewes,” whose parades are led by celebrity kings. During the parades, all floats have “riders” who toss “throws,” usually Mardi Gras beads, plastic cups, or coins (“doubloons”), to the crowds on the street. Then exactly at midnight on Ash Wednesday, it’s all over--until next year.

 

For those not in the Big Easy but who still want to celebrate, the only way to mark the holiday is to party! And we have plenty ideas to help you do just that! Mix up some classic New Orleans cocktails and be sure to make some of the city’s amazing Creole dishes. Start with oysters and finish with king cake. Use our recipes and tips to get you started!

The early part of Carnival in New Orleans features formal, invitation-only balls; the famous parades start about two weeks before Mardi Gras day, Fat Tuesday. New Orleans is packed with visitors, the streets thronged with revelers watching the dozens of parades, a mix of “old line” krewes with traditional courts of kings and queens, and their parades of floats, some more than a hundred years old, and the newer, larger “Super Krewes,” whose parades are...

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All About Mardi Gras

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recipe

Shrimp tossed in dense Greek yogurt, mustard, garlic, and ketchup makes a delicious centerpiece for a leafy salad. Making remoulade with yogurt instead of mayonnaise cuts the calories by more than half.

recipe

An authentic Louisiana gumbo almost always begins with a flour-and-fat roux to thicken the stew while adding an earth-and-smoke undercurrent. Browning the flour dry, scattered and stirred in a pan, achieves virtually the same effect -- without all the calories.Just one link of andouille sausage gives the dish heaps of flavor, and okra slices bring on a velvety texture.