The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival is one of the premier music festivals in the world. Every year there are over a dozen stages presenting some of the finest music and musicians in the state. Major recording artists add to the festival line-up and boost attendance in the seven-day extravaganza. But Jazz Fest is not only music, a major component is the food offerings. There are eight areas serving food, including four major ones, with a total of just under 70 food booths.
Of the food offered there are seventeen different crawfish dishes, twelve shrimp entrées, eight crab delicacies, thirteen catfish offerings, a half-dozen ways to eat oysters, four gator plates, and at least eight different kinds of salads. Perennial favorites are the breads stuffed with crawfish, shrimp, sausage and jalapeño. Some do-not-misses are the crawfish sack; pheasant, quail and andouille gumbo; cochon de lait po-boy; soft-shell crab po-boy; crawfish beignet; spinach artichoke casserole; and of course, the WWOZ Mango Freeze.
Whether you eat the same thing every year or try something new, this is the best festival food anywhere. Pick another time to diet, but remember to stay hydrated, drink loads of decaffeinated tea, lemonade or water. Fresh fruit also can do wonders for a hot and tired body. Wear a hat and arrive hungry.... And don't forget, you can always pick up your favorite food on the way out and not have to go anywhere for dinner that evening.