Culture: Food – Beignets in New Orleans
There’s no doubt– a trip to New Orleans just isn’t complete without at least one fluffy, powdered sugar covered beignet and bitter cup of chicory coffee. This signature treat of New Orleans is served in many restaurants across the city, but the true place to experience this is to take a pilgrimage to the famed Cafe du Monde located at the corner of Jackson Square and just a stones throw from the Mississippi River.
Beignets are best served at breakfast time, but also can make a delicious desert. If your a morning person, I suggest waking up relatively early and heading out on a vigorous walk through the French quarter (this is also a great way to work off your festivities the night before). The quiet streets are quite a change from the raucous afternoon and night time scene. End your walk at beautiful Jackson Square, where the St. Louis Cathedral stands tall and artists and street vendors may be beginning to set up. Wander through the square towards the river and you’ll soon see the reward for your walk waiting – piping hot beignets and a cup of coffee at Cafe du Monde! Morning time is a great time to get to this cafe before the crowds begin to show up in droves.
With luck, you’ll find a table, and be able to enjoy your morning treat while you see the rest of blurry-eyed New Orleans visitors wake up and make their way about town!
If you don’t have the luxury of being in New Orleans, but are still craving a beignet, there are many recipes online to satisfy. Some recipes use yeast, which of course takes a little bit more prep-work when making the dough, but there are plenty no-yeast recipes. Below is an “easy” beignet recipe to make at home:
Easy (no-yeast) Beignets
1/2 cup butter
1 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup flour
oil for deep frying (Cafe du Monde swears by cottonseed oil, but vegetable oil will do as well)
1/4 cup powdered sugar
Melt butter into the water, salt and flour. Mix until you have a sticky batter. Beat eggs and add slowly to mixture until smooth. Heat oil to 375F, and carefully fry a few mounds (roughly 1 tablespoon each) of dough at a time. Drain on a clean towel, or paper towel, and heavily dust with powdered sugar. Serve with chicory coffee.
For those not wanting to cook from scratch, Cafe du Monde sells a pre-made beignet mix as well as chicory coffee online and in stores across the United States. Making this treat at home is a great way to start your morning New Orleans style!
Do you have a great memories of eating beignets in New Orleans? Be sure to head to my shop and pick up and art print to remember your experience!
Video of Beignets Being Made at Cafe du Monde
Eat Drink Travel: Beignets in New Orleans Art Print by Wanderlust Designer