Why New Orleans?
I was born and raised there, a neighborhood named Gentilly and the suburb of Metairie respectively. As a kid, my family was re-located to the Mid-west where I always felt like a foreigner. The summers I spent with my grandparents on Touro and Mandolin were heaven, even if the temperatures came from hell. Until Katrina paid her visit, I took it for granted that New Orleans would always be around; after all, it had survived numerous fires and floods through hundreds of years of its rich history. As a result, in my adult years my visits became further and further apart, until last March when I made a personal vow to get down there at least once a year, funds willing.
Food is an important part of our culture and every family has their own way of making “this or that”. Food is also a universal language; one of the great things about that city is that it always manages to welcome each new ethnic group into its catalog of recipes, diversifying its ingredient list with each new immigrant. Where else can you get Creole spring rolls and Catfish banh mi? I hope to see Duck enchiladas and Horchata sno-balls soon.
Now more than ever it is important to retain and disperse some of that knowledge and maintain the culture that makes New Orleans so unique.
What is Herbsaint?
Herbsaint is a brand name of anise-flavored liqueur, originally made in New Orleans, Louisiana. Herbsaint first appeared in 1934. It was the creation of J.M. Legendre of New Orleans, who learned how to make absinthe while in France during World War I. it first went on sale following the repeal of prohibition, and was unique in its category as an absinthe substitute, as opposed to a pastis. Although Herbsaint was originally produced under the name “Legendre Absinthe” it never contained wormwood. The alcohol control bureau at the time objected to the use of the word Absinthe so it was changed to Legendre Herbsaint. The Sazerac company bought the J.M. Legendre & Co. on January 1, 1940. The original recipe was used for many years, but was eventually changed in the 1970’s, producing the modern Herbsaint available today.
Got any comments? Recipes? E-mail me at tpulling at gmail dot com.