So, you want to throw an exotic destination-themed event? Few places in the United States encompass so much variety in culture and charm as New Orleans. It is a city comprised of so many distinct cultures. NewOrleans.com describes the city as “offbeat, unusual, loud and proud – all part of the gumbo that has simmered for 300 years.” The Crescent City is a vivacious and eclectic blend of African-American, French, Spanish, Irish, and Italian cultures with each culture’s influences felt in everything from the food to the city’s many parades and celebrations. Fortunately, New Orleans’ location lends itself well to these cultural preferences, with its plethora of fresh-from-the-boat seafood, locally grown produce, farmer’s markets, and specialty grocers throughout the city. In short, New Orleans has all the right ingredients for a destination-specific shindig.
No need to pretend you’re on the Champs-Élysées
French influence in New Orleans is evident everywhere. From beignets to étouffée, French food has found a unique niche on New Orleans catering menus. Caterers like Messina’s Catering and Events embrace the city’s French heritage in dishes like shrimp remoulade, andouille gumbo, petite croques monsieurs, and crab meat au gratin bouchée. They are able to draw on local fisheries and restaurant suppliers to meld haute cuisine with an unforgettable New Orleans twist.
Savor the flavors of Spain
Both France and Spain once ruled New Orleans prior to the $15 million Louisiana Purchase in 1803, so it’s no surprise that there are equal amounts of both represented on menus in the city. The use of tomatoes and tomato-based sauces in Creole dishes is a definite nod to Spanish ancestry. It’s a cultural hybrid that can be found throughout Messina’s menus in the form of items like roasted tomato bisque, which is their version of a Spanish mainstay, salmorejo, the hot, roasted tomato cousin of gazpacho. Messina’s also serves an authentic Ceviche Bar with ripe tropical fruit and wild and domestic mushroom marinade.
An Irish brogue in the French Quarter?
The Irish began fleeing British persecution at the end of the 1700s, and were attracted to New Orleans both for its Catholic traditions but also for its well-known anti-British sentiments. They soon became a vital part of the local economy and the city’s social fabric. In fact, the first St. Patrick’s Day celebration in New Orleans was held in 1809 at St. Patrick’s Church, and is still in operation today. Irish immigrants driven out of their homeland by the potato famine found cheap passage to New Orleans in the holds of cotton ships. Their influence today is evident in the many Irish pubs that dot the city. Raw oysters were nothing new to the incoming Irish population, who had been partaking in plump native Irish oysters for centuries. Shellfish also abounds in Irish cuisine, including shrimp, clams and mussels.
Messina’s Catering can transport any event from ordinary to extraordinary
Messina’s Catering and Events are experts in preparing cuisine with roots all over the world, and are award-winning for the New Orleans spin they put on their catering menus. Let them help you transport your next event to someplace unforgettable without ever leaving the city.