Chicory coffee and beignet

By ayr March 3, 2011

Rolando and I are on a research trip. We do this once a year. Get the cheapest airplane tickets we can, eat non-stop for 3 or 4 days, and bring back inspiration to new Clover recipes.

This year our trip began in New Orleans. This was almost an accident. Our real target is Texas, we want to start making our own BBQ sauce (right now we buy one called Cattleman’s Original in a jug). But when I was planning the trip I figured we’d be driving around Texas a lot to check out different BBQ. So why not fly into New Orleans, and drive across East Texas from there? Rolando used towork for Emeril a long time ago, his first job out of college. He was 22. So I thought Rolando would enjoy coming to New Orleans.

There was another thing I had on my mind: Chicory coffee. I had this idea a couple of years ago that it would be a lot of fun to play around with Chicory coffee. Coffee is never going to be a local ingredient for us. The only coffee in the US is from Hawaii. But Chicory is a native plant. There’s the amazing history I’m still learning about (more on that later) where Americans would cut coffee with roasted chicory.

So this morning we found ourselves at the most famous New Orleans coffee joint: Cafe Du Monde. And we sat down to a cup of Chicory coffee and a heaping plate of beignet (French doughnuts).

Aside: they call the beignet “french doughnuts” on their menu. That’s sort of like our “chickpea fritter.” Guess we’re not the only place that found we were confusing people by using a foreign sounding name.

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