New Orleans is a national tragedy. Even today, eighteen months post-Katrina, there are whole neighborhoods with garbage piled high on every corner, homes left to rot, and lives ripped apart, left unrepaired and ignored. It is shameful, and I still cannot believe this is America. Where did the money go? And why isn’t every single piece of junk hauled out of there? Why are there homes still waiting for repair or rebuilding to happen? You can see it on the news, you can read it in the papers, but until you see it for yourself you cannot possibly believe how bad it really still is down there.
OK, enough seriousness. I spent a day with Sterling Freyou, a fourth-generation Cajun trapper who is seventy-five. He has a different job each month; one month he traps alligator, then he catches redfish. Then crabbing, then shrimping, then trapping nutria . . . He lives in Morgan City and hasn’t left there. Ever. For four generations he has lived off the land; his kids are all educated and moved away, something he is fiercely proud of. It’s also a little sad, he told me, since the family trade dies with him. As I travel around Minnesota and the world at large I meet guys like this all the time. The last bottle of Coca-Cola in the desert. Check out some of the Louisiana pix below.
My southern swing afforded me the opportunity to partake daily in a new ritual for me, eating Zapp's Potato Chips. They are awesome. Crisp and intense, and I bring it up because of all the great blog chat about regional candies . . . what about regional salty snacks??? Any favorites of yours not available here in the Twin Cities? FYI, people looking to buy Cajun foods, I get asked all the time, can find them at Cajun Grocer.