En Español>>Festival Del Tomate Criollo
Por AnaMaría Bech
If you can identify a Louisiana staple, whether a music genre, dish, fruit, vegetable, or anything else, you can bet a festival is dedicated to it!
In 1986 a festival was created for the succulent Louisiana Creole tomatoes. Known for their bright red color, juicy flesh, and sweet and spicy flavor, creole tomatoes became highly coveted by chefs, creole families, and home cooks alike.
It makes sense to celebrate the bounty of the state of Louisiana in its high season with the Creole Tomato Festival. Its 37th edition will take place on June 10 and 11 at the historic French Market. During this summer festival, you can buy the most delicious creole tomatoes and please your palate with various dishes based on this staple. The food list is long. Among many other offerings, you can get Fried Baby Back Ribs from Cafe Dauphine, Stuffed Tomatoes from Nuevo Horizonte, Creole Tomato Stuffed with Cool and Creamy Shrimp Pasta from LaDelyo’s Creole Catering, Oxtails from Numada, Creole Tomato Jambalaya from Lillie’s Cajun Kitchen, Shrimp and Sausage Stew from Cuties And Cuisine.
The Bloody Mary, a tomato-based cocktail, will be available in many variations. Cornet Restaurant will have a Zesty-infused vodka Bloody Mary and Oh! Sweet Lemon will have Mangonada (Spicy Mango Mexican slushy) Bloody Mary, Ms. Linda, the Yakamein Lady, will bring her Yakamary. You can judge them all.
The historic French Market is the perfect setting for this family-friendly event. The festival is free, with music stages at the market, Dutch Alley and the New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park on 916 N. Peters Street will feature local bands starting at 10 a.m. with a variety of genres from Tonya Boyd Cannon, Davis Rogan Band, Josh Starkman, Alicia “Blue” Smith, Ravee Quintet, and the Latin Rhythms of Yusa, Alexey Marti, Julio and Cesar, Muévelo, and Asheson, plus the funk of Bo Dollis Jr & the Wild Magnolias, Kamau Spirit of the Drums, and Mestre Curtis Pierre and Afro-Brazilian drumming, among others. You can even begin Sunday with a yoga session with Move Ya Brass and enjoy kids’ activities in Dutch Alley and cooking demos from noon to 4 P.M. at the Southern Food and Beverage Museum Stage in the French Market.
The Creole Tomato Festival in New Orleans is an opportunity to celebrate the richness and diversity of Louisiana’s cuisine and honor the exceptional flavor of Creole tomatoes. Enjoy the music, the food, and the drinks. Shop from the local artisans and vendors of the market and take home some juicy, fresh Creole Tomatoes and the memories of another great time in the historic French Market.
For a full line-up of the French Market Creole Tomato Festival, visit frenchmarket.org