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This article is part of the Hipmunk #CityLove Project

New Orleans is a city known for its unique range of eclectic food – a city with a culinary legacy which includes a mix of Cajun, Caribbean, Italian, Chinese, and everything in-between!

From classic dishes such as Jambalaya and Gumbo, to a cajun-spiced fried cornmeal and baked oysters with herbs, there is a lot of flavor, culture, and tradition flowing through the city’s unique food scene.

Forget eating at boring chain restaurants – make sure you familiarize yourself with the following dishes to say you have sampled the favorite Creole dishes of New Orleans.

Gumbo

You can’t travel to New Orleans without ordering a steamy serving of gumbo.

Inspired by many cultures, gumbo is symbolic of New Orleans’ rich and diverse background. Essentially a soup served over rice, some locals will argue this dish belongs in a food group of its own.

Gumbo, New Orleans. Photo CC by

Gumbo, New Orleans. Photo CC by Stephanie

With flavors and influences from Western Europe, Africa and the Caribbean, classic recipes use okra, an African vegetable, simmered in an incredibly rich stock, along with meat or seafood and a mix of vegetables like onions, bell peppers, and celery.

Most restaurants throughout New Orleans will offer their own variation of gumbo, featuring different meats, including rabbit.

Jambalaya

This traditional New Orleans dish is a vegetable, rice, and meat dish which is affordable, delicious, and can be modified to include whatever the chef has accessible at the time.

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Jambalaya. Photo CC by Shubert Ciencia

Ingredients mixed together in the rice, and while Jambalaya traditionally includes a variety of different meats, seafood is now also a common ingredient.

Andouille

This spicy sausage is distinctively Cajun, and features in many other famous New Orleans dishes to add flavor.

Made from smoked pork, traditionally using the stomach and intestines, Andouille sausage originated in France. However, it was bought to Louisiana by European colonists, and has been spiced up to what is now an iconic Creole dish.

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Andouille. Photo CC by jeffreyw

It is a key ingredient in both gumbo and jambalaya, and is normally dished up with rice and red beans.

Muffuletta

While it may taste Italian, this popular sandwich is 100% from New Orleans!

Salami, provolone, ham and a piquant olive spread in between Sicilian sesame bread was invented at the Central Grocery in 1903. Originally popular amongst Italian immigrants, its status as a premiere sandwich soon spread, and it is now a food icon throughout New Orleans.

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Muffuletta. Photo CC by « R☼Wεnα »

Visit the Central Grocery for the original sandwich – it’s located at 923 Decatur Street, which is within walking distance of most cheap New Orleans hotels.

Creole Pralines

After consuming the above foods for breakfast, lunch, and tea, be sure to stop by the shop of a Southern candy maker for some famous Creole pralines.

Originally made from sugar-coated almonds, the almonds have since been replaced by a local nut, the pecan, and you’ll find nothing sweeter on the streets of New Orleans.

Authentic Dining in New Orleans

Now that you’ve been familiarized with these favorite Creole dishes, you’ll know exactly what to order for an authentic dining experience in New Orleans.

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Meg Jerrard is an Australian Journalist who has been travelling and blogging around the world for the last 7 years to inspire others to embark on their own worldwide adventure!  Her husband Mike is an American travel photographer, and together they have made the world their home.

Follow their journey on FacebookGoogle+ and Twitter.

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