Calas can still be found today in the open-air markets of Africa, where they were originally given their name in the native Bantu tongue of the region. This simple rice fritter arrived in New Orleans in the minds and hearts of the enslaved rice-growing peoples from Africa. During the French colonial period (before the Louisiana Purchase in 1803), the Code Noir decreed that slaves were required to have at least one day off each week. That day was often devoted to street vending. “Calas, calas, belles calas tout chauds” was the call that heralded the arrival of the calas lady. Calas had almost been forgotten when the Slow Food movement began to promote their revival.

Representing the local Slow Food convivia, I served calas on a cold winter day at the Uptown marke…

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Oyster Dressing

It’s not Thanksgiving in New Orleans without Oyster Dressing. Every family has their own favorite version, but this one comes from Frank Davis’s Creole sidekick Mary Clare. Featured as part of “Franksgiving” dinner specials on WWL-TV, Mary Clare’s recipe includes sage, personal advice in the instructions. Her remarks will make you feel as though you’re getting a cooking lesson from your Creole grandmother!

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Jacques-Imo's Creole Stuffed Tomatoes

Thanks to our hothouse tomato growers, Tad Ledet and Greg Sanamo, we don't have to wait for big red, ripe tomatoes to make Jacques-Imo's Creole Stuffed Tomatoes. Ask one of our chicken vendors if they have chicken livers in stock, grab a bell pepper from one of our produce vendor tables and make this delicious meal market fresh!

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Winter Market Juice

Drink to your health this New Year with this recipe from this month's Green Plate Special vendor, Chef Anne Churchill.  Most of these ingredients are available during the winter season from Crescent City Farmers Market vendors.  Cheers!

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Homemade Ricotta Cheese

There is little easier and more satisfying than making your own ricotta cheese. Afterwards you feel like high-fiving the universe for making such an easy, creamy delight so easy! Using farm fresh whole milk from one of our wonderful dairy vendors makes this cheese better for you, your environment, and your community. Plus, it just tastes that much better and richer. Try adding some herbs for a little excitement and drama. Basil, rosemary, oregano...the options are endless.

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Acorn Squash Penne Pasta with Bacon

Acorn squash and Fall go together like pumpkin spice and coffee drinks! When cooler weather happens upon us, we start craving hearty pasta dishes. This easy pasta uses the caramel like sweetness of acorn squash with the salty crunch of bacon, creating a comforting meal that is perfect for a fall evening on the porch. You can change this recipe to your tastes. Substitute pancetta or sausage for bacon, add sage instead of rosemary, or top with buttery bread crumbs.

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Creole Onion Soup

This Creole onion soup is a heartier version than ever found in a Parisian bistro! Creamy with milk and cheddar cheese, it’s almost a fondue—hearty enough to make a welcomed winter meal with a crispy salad on the side.

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Herbed Goat Cheese Buttons

Fall means football games, back-porch get-togethers and again enjoying the outdoors in New Orleans. This Herbed Goat Cheese Buttons recipe is perfect for all such occasions. These make-ahead treats are easy, tasty, and impressive. Make them for your next brunch, football party, or just to snack on! Pick up some chevre (goat cheese) from Ryal's Rocking R Dairy and herbs from any of our fantastic growers and enjoy.

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Chilaquiles en Salsa Verde

Spanish influence in New Orleans cooking is not new. For more than a hundred years of our history, we alternated between Spanish and French rule. In later years, our close geographic proximity to Cuba gave us many dual residents who became permanent after Castro seized power. Today, our city is being rebuilt by many industrious friends from Mexico and South America who are bringing the latest Spanish flavors to our ancient mixing pot.

Tomatillos are a new offering at the Crescent City Farmers Market. With increasing demand, the selection of colorful varieties is on the rise.

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Red Bean Cakes with Roasted Corn and Mushroom Salsa

Because of an early heat wave in the South the last couple of weeks, this year’s corn season has been cut short. Be sure to pick up a few ears before it disappears! Use locally grown corn and mushrooms to create a salsa that adds an innovative twist to traditional red beans. In this recipe from our CCFM cookbook, flavorful red bean cakes are topped with corn and mushroom salsa and a dollop of green onion aioli for a delicious vegetarian meal.

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Market Umbrella


Market Umbrella is an independent nonprofit 501(c)(3), based in New Orleans, whose mission is to cultivate the field of public markets for public good. Market Umbrella has operated the Crescent City Farmers Markets (CCFM) since 1995.

Crescent City Farmers Market


The Crescent City Farmers Market operates weekly year-round in four New Orleans neighborhoods. The CCFM hosts nearly 80 local small farmers, fishers and food producers, and more than 100,000 shoppers annually.