SWAMP FOOD (IT’S PRETTY AWESOME)

Main_alligator

As well as getting tonnes of recommendations via Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and the blog we’ve also been getting suggestions from pretty much every person we’ve met along the way. When it comes to food everyone has an opinion. 

This place was one of the more interesting suggestions! It came from Cynthia, who we met way back in L.A. when we were cooking with her and some other food bloggers. She told us that we had to do the short drive out of New Orleans to visit Restaurant Des Families and try their Alligator. 

We met Brooke and she took us right to the back window, which happens to look directly out at the national park swampland. And usually… There are a couple of alligators just lounging there too. Unfortunately the weather had them running back to the swamp when we were there but we could still enjoy the food :) 

reel_alligator

Brooke took us through some of their signature dishes. They buy all their fish direct from suppliers and everything is very local. Only a certain number are allowed to hunt Alligators and they deal closely with those suppliers too. She also mentioned that alligator doesn’t taste very good! What they do is grind up the meat and stuff into mushrooms, which gives really good contrasting textures. Then they also put it into a piquant sauce to go with it. It’s one of those dishes that needs to have a bit of everything in every bite to work. 

Here’s everything that we we’re guided through: 

  • Oysters Rockefeller
  • Alligator stuffed mushrooms with picante alligator sauce. 
  • Gumbo
  • Turtle soup
  • Deep fried prawns
  • Crawfish étouffée 
  • Soft shell crab with crawfish

reel_alligator2

What a meal! The oysters Rockefeller were a real stand out, and the turtle soup was something very new to us. It is actually made with real turtle. The soup was tomatoey and slightly spiced and the turtle added a great texture, but we’re still not 100% sure exactly what turtle tastes like! 

Would you guys ever eat alligator or turtle? What’s the most unusual thing you’ve tried? 

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  • Christin N. W.

    I personally never tried any of them and I might try both once just for the experience. Turtle soups are a delicacy in Chinese cuisine and I’ve received mixed reviews about them from my family. Hmm, that’s a tough question since I rarely order something unusual or exotic unless it’s recommended by a friend. Which reminds me that I must try BBQ stingray the next time I visit Singapore.

  • Ashley So

    I wasn’t a fan of alligator when I tried alligator bites (fried types), but I’d definitely give it another shot. I really want to try turtle – I watch a lot of Andrew Zimmern – but being Chinese, I have eaten some odd things. Pig’s feet and ears, chicken feet, cow brains, duck blood, cockroaches, you name it. There was also a great restaurant by my university where I’ve tried kangaroo, bison, wild boar, python, and bison. Oh, and authentic taco places in Mexico serve all sorts of meat, from eyes to brains to snout. Food’s my favorite part of traveling! :)

  • Laura De Santiago

    I am really enjoying reading about your tour in New Orleans. Everything looks great! Sure, most of these are ‘sometimes foods,’ but it is all tempting. Gladly, following along this portion of your travel. Thanks for reminding us what’s scrumptious here at home, no passport necessary.

  • frazervarney

    I’d definitely be down for trying alligator and turtle! The strangest thing i’ve tried only goes so far as Ostrich sadly!

  • Erin

    Oh my gosh where are yall going for the next few days in NOLA??? I am such a huge fan and am from New Orleans!!

  • Jerry Chong

    I had alligator when I was in Cambodia . It can only be described as the toughest chicken you ever had . There is probably a better way of preparing and cooking it . Hope yours was good.

  • Laura De Santiago

    Gasp, you ate turtle? :( I heard alligator is not that great, too.

  • Stacey Nelson

    My Papa Pete had a snapping turtle once, dunno where he got it. He butchered it and my granny made soup. It was repulsive. Since everything she ever made was great, I think she HATED turtle and purposely botched it so she wouldn’t have to make it again. :) I ate lots of weird stuff at her place, squirrel, rabbit, venison, and they raised hogs, cows, and chickens so there was always extremely tasty ‘normal’ meat too. I’d try alligator, I hear it’s a strange texture. Frog legs are pretty good, though.

  • lilykep

    I’ve had alligator a number of times (Louisiana native) and the cooking method is really important when it comes to how tender and flavorful the meat is. The best I’ve had was slow roasted on a bbq pit and covered in streaky bacon

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