Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Review of "My Louisiana Love"

I thought the documentary "My Louisiana Love" by Monique Verdin was not only interesting and entertaining, but it was also very educational and really opened my eyes as far as how severe Hurricane Katrina was and the effects it had on Louisiana and its habitants. The documentary was mainly about Verdin and the mental and physical toll the hurricane had on mainly her father, grandmother, and boyfriend, all Lousiana natives living in Louisiana during the hurricane. Her father, a struggling alcoholic, decided to fight the storm and live on his roof for about 9 days with nothing but a few animals and a bottle of tequila. He survived, but died about a year later of liver failure. Her grandmother had to relocate for a while and by the time she got back, not only her home but the any home near hers, was either destroyed or uninhabitable. Her gradmother was able to bounce back and find a new home in Lousiana, and she just celebrated her 97th birthday. Probably the most devestated and affected by Hurricane Katrina, though he did not show it, was Verdin's boyfriend. He did everything he could to help Verdin and her family and you could tell he loved Lousiana more than anything. He ended up becoming depressed and shot himself right next to the Bayou in Lousiana in 2006. The city of New Orleans was able to recover pretty well from the storm food and utility wise, at least until the BP oil spill in April of 2010. This had a massive effect on the gulf of Mexico and southern Louisana, especially on the water near the gulf. The spill caused a shortage of seafood and had a huge effect on anything near the gulf. Most of the people who suffered from Hurricane Katrina or had to relocate that are alive today are doing relatively well and have regained their spirits, those who came back anyway. I learned so many things from watching this documentary, especially the massive effects of Hurricane Katrina, information about the BP oil spill, and the things people are doing to make sure they will be safe in case another natural disaster hits Louisiana any time soon, and what those who live anywhere near the gulf or oil spill are doing to make sure nothing like that ever happens again. Overall, I am very glad I got the opportunity to see this film, it really opened my eyes, and I recommend that anyone who has the chance to see this film should see it.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Oral History Interview

            In my immediate family, my mother cooks the most. My father also cooks meals; they cook probably equally, but depending on the type of dish depends on whether my mom or my dad is cooking it. I cook easy mac and freezer meals. So no, I do not cook. I do not eat pork. My parents do not eat pork. I think I got that from them but it’s also a personal decision. Raised Jewish, I do not eat pork. I’m not a fan of pork, I think it’s gross. I eat more Jewish food on Jewish holidays then I would regularly. My parents, though, cook a lot of Jewish style food I guess you could say, meats and eastern European type foods. The more I think about St. Louis food the more I think it’s really weird in that nobody understands it or knows about it and St. Louis is known for its Italian. It’s also known as a little bit of a French town. There’s the hill; that’s famous in St. Louis. We also have certain foods that are unique. We deep fry raviolis with meat inside, which is called toasted raviolis. Apparently, I didn’t learn this until the other day, but provel cheese is a cheese in St. Louis that apparently no one else knows about, and St. Louis food is definitely unique, but I don’t know how to compare it everywhere else, it’s kind of its own little thing.              I don’t know if I have a greater appreciation for food, I don’t really appreciate food that much. I think I take food for granted a lot. But, I think one thing New Orleans has done has made me understand, since Katrina, the role of home cooking and fresh food. I think I have a greater understanding of why that’s important. New Orleans food is great, along with the Cajun style and Creole style kind of all thrown together; the unique flavors and spices are like nowhere else. You can’t find a po boy somewhere else, a real po boy at least, and you can’t go find real French cuisine, except for here. I think the food is very important down here and it’s hard to live without. I’m definitely not cut out for the grill yet, or cooking but, maybe one day. My mom’s cooking, my mom can be good at cooking, she always breaks out all these recipe books an tries to cook things that I don’t think she can actually cook. Sometimes it’s good and sometimes it’s just terrible, and she’s not very good at cooking meat because she’s a vegetarian, and she doesn’t have a huge diet. My mom cooks half of the food I guess and my dad cooks the other half that she can’t cook. I’m very fond of St. Louis and Kansas City style barbeque. The barbeque in the Midwest is really the only thing I’ve grown up on, like Arthur Bryant’s and Gates and Pappy’s in St. Louis. I’ve been to Memphis once and had their barbeque and it was pretty good. I’m still sold on Kansas City though for my favorite barbeque.
            I definitely don’t want to eat that much seafood. I’m not that big on seafood, I probably will not eat oysters, or a lot of fish. I’ll eat fish sticks, or that beer battered cot that they serve in the OR. Just the feeling that seafood gives me is kind of gross. Pork and seafood are different. I don’t like the taste of pork, but you can make seafood taste like anything I feel like. You can beer batter this cod or you can fry this catfish. You can fry little shrimp poppers or dump your shrimp in gumbo or make it in some French saucy cuisine. I feel like you kind of have to be raised on pork to like pork. Hot dogs, I eat a lot of beef hot dogs, the way hot dogs are meant to be made. Hot dogs are not meant to be made with any other kind of meat in it. All beef! Hebrew National hot dogs and Hundreds hot dogs from Busch Stadium.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Visit to Johnny's Po-Boys

For our second class assignment, I visited Johnny's Po-Boys on St. Louis Street near Decatur Street. Before going there, however, I visited first to learn a little bit about the old establishment. I looked at their online menu and also clicked on their history. There, I learned that Johnny's is a French Quarter Landmark, established in 1950(which makes it pretty established to me), and that it is the city's oldest family-owned po-boy restaurant. Reading about their history and certain ingredients they use, I was excited to go there, and after watching this video from their website,, is was even more excited to go there. Also, one thing I learned from this video is that "dressed" in New Orleans means adding lettuce, tomato, mayo, and pickles. When I went there, I opened the door, looked around, and I immediately liked everything about the restaurant; how small it was, the mid-20th century look it had inside and out, and the environment, consisting of a good amount of people, all either enjoying what they had ordered or in line waiting for food like starving animals. When it was finally my turn to order, I asked for a turkey breast po-boy with American cheese and everything on it. The woman taking my order was very nice and asked me everything I wanted in detail, so that my order was perfect. I paid around 12 dollars, she told me what my number was, and literally a minute later I heard my number being called and saw two big halves of a po-boy filled with turkey and toppings sitting at the counter. I took it to the back because the front of the restaurant was nearly filled. It tasted better than it looked. I even put Louisiana hot sauce on it, even though I'm not a big fan of hot sauce, just to try it, and it tasted great. I didn't take a picture of it, but it looked just like this: (times two). Overall, the meal was great and I had a good time visiting Johnny's, especially because I had never been there before. I think Johnny's adds to the culture and overall experience of New Orleans because it is a great, small family-owned restaurant with great history and great service. I cannot find any reason why anybody wouldn't like Johnny's and I look forward to eating their again.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Class Assignment #1

For our first Class Assignment, my roomate Oliver and I went to Panda Express at Tulane University. There, I  bought a meal including fried rice, and three types of meat; those meats being orange chicken, beef(with broccoli), and beijing beef with bell peppers. I love to mix the rice with the meat and I think they compliment each other well, especially because the chicken is usually spicy and the rice dulls the spiciness. That is also why I bought a water, since I knew the meal would be pretty hot and spicy. I thought the meal overall tasted very good, but unfortunately I got the last of the beef and broccoli and it looked like it had been sitting there all day, so it tasted just like it looked. I am not sure exactly where the food that fast food restaurants like Panda Express have come from, and although it tastes good and fresh, I am sure it is made a lot differently than at a normal, family style restaurant and takes alot less work to make. Overall, however, I enjoyed this meal, but I am looking forward to trying some new, New Orleans style cuisine.