Recipes

Bamboo shoots and rice

For barely a month in late March and early April, Joe Dobie brings an unusual product to market—tender, green bamboo shoots. Joe reports that his vigorous bamboo grows at a rate of about a foot per day. Joe cuts them when they are eighteen inches or less, and eager market shoppers snap them up to use in place of the usual canned version.

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Bamboo shoots and mushrooms

Try this bamboo recipe that pairs the tender shoots with mushrooms.

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Creole cream cheese

August is a brutal weather month in New Orleans, so the Crescent City Farmers Market has always come up with innovative ways to lure customers out to sweat and shop. In the early 1990s, the Learned Festival of Heat was a regular part of the campaign.

The largest August crowd ever seen at the market came out on August 28, 1999, to learn how to make a vanishing New Orleans classic, Creole cream cheese. The original indigenous cheese of the area had been abandoned by all of the large commercial enterprises that had gobbled up our local dairies during the latter part of the twentieth century.

Trying to stay cool under a wide-brimmed palmetto hat, I taught shoppers how to make this delicious treat at home. When you consider that this process involves l…

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White chocolate mousse

A tradition began in 1893 when a grand hotel, the Grunewald, opened on Baronne Street, just steps off of Canal. The hotel was later renamed in honor of President Theodore Roosevelt. The owners of the Roosevelt Hotel acquired the rights to the famous New Orleans cocktails, the Ramos Gin Fizz and the Sazerac, and created a bar and restaurant in honor of the latter, an Herbsaint-scented rye whiskey drink.

Later known as the Fairmont Hotel, the traditions were carefully maintained until Hurricane Katrina shuttered this landmark establishment. The Waldorf-Astoria hotel group has since purchased the property so that New Orleanians and visitors alike can look forward to the rebirth of the century-old hotel.

Here is a divine dessert that will help us hang o…

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Chaya's crème brulée

New Orleans is not a town known for its desserts. Bread pudding, bananas Foster, and frozen Creole cream cheese are about the extent of our local dessert creations. Crème brûlée or more often crème caramel, however, are New Orleans classics. In humble eateries, there are rich, delicious versions often called cup custard. New Orleans nursery food at its best, cup custard was a convalescent’s dream long before the world heard of Jello—pudding or otherwise!

Here, pastry chef Chaya Conrad further embellishes the creamy dessert with a bit of crunch provided by native Louisiana pecans combined with puff pastry. Thank goodness for Pepperidge Farms, whose frozen puff pastry is a reliable grocery store staple.

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Frozen persimmon jam

Bright yellow/orange persimmons drip honeyed goodness in New Orleans gardens during the fall months while the scent of sweet olive hangs heavy in the air. Most years see a bumper crop of the brilliantly colored fruit that, unfortunately, doesn’t store well fresh. This recipe will allow you to enjoy the taste of persimmons all year round. If you have ever been through the traditional canning process, this freezer version of jam making will set you free! 

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Persimmon cake

From the earliest days of the Crescent City Farmers Market, our local newspaper, the Times-Picayune, has been one of our greatest supporters. In addition to frequent feature articles profiling our vendors and special events, each week in their “Food News” column, they list featured seasonal products, cooking demos, and anything else of note at our weekly markets.

In October 2004, at the height of persimmon season, journalist Mary Tutweiller wrote a feature article about cooking with persimmons. This is a very easy dessert and is especially pretty if baked in a bundt pan.

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Biscotti Regina

Throughout most of the twentieth century, there were more Sicilians living in the New Orleans area than anywhere else in the world except for Sicily! Many Sicilian food traditions are still proudly observed here, including the meatless food altars erected in homes and churches on March 19 to honor St. Joseph. Every visitor to the altars leaves with a gift bag complete with holy card, lucky fava bean, and several homemade cookies.

Theresa Alberti and her husband (and chief assistant) Al were sunny additions to the market for many years. Her brightly packaged baked goods were as delicious as they were beautiful. Unfortunately, the Chalmette residents lost everything, including their health, in Hurricane Katrina, and they never returned to the market. These two sweet…

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Spicy lemongrass tofu

Our Philippine friends, the Pampos, were regular Saturday Market vendors who brought us a bounty of fresh herbs and greens from their family plot in Algiers, on the West Bank of the Mississippi River. Lemongrass, cilantro, parsley, and green onions—the familiar and the exotic could all be found in their market booth. Mr. and Mrs. Pampo were forced to relocate to Baton Rouge after Hurricane Katrina severely damaged their home and garden, but we hope to see our friends at market again one day. In the meantime, we honor them with this spicy entrée. 

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Stir fry bitter melon

An unusual taste for New Orleanians, bitter melon is found in many other tropical locations—China, Indonesia, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Columbia, Panama—where it is often more valued for its medicinal powers. First introduced to our market by our Philippine friends, the Pampos, bitter melon is a garden staple in the Vietnamese community of New Orleans East.

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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.

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