Looking to add a little Louisiana holiday cheer to the dinner table this year? These local products should have you covered!
Steen’s Cane Syrup, Abbeville, LA
Steen’s Cane Syrup has become a staple in pantries all over the country, let alone Louisiana. In the heart of Cajun Country, the folks in Abbeville have been making syrup out of Louisiana sugar cane since 1910. It can be used as a glaze on the turkey or ham, as a sweetener in just about any pie, or in a sauce to tie the whole meal together. You can’t go wrong with some Steen’s nearby.
Blanca Isabel’s Purple Rice, Rayne, LA
Dr. Milton C. Rush developed Blanca Isabel Purple Black Rice while working as a rice pathologist at Louisiana State University for 39 years. The long-grain rice has an incredible purple color and natural health benefits including antioxidants normally found in blueberries, green tea, and red wine. A lot of local restaurants have started using the purple rice in their menus, and you can do the same for your holiday dinner table this year!
Bruce’s Yams, New Iberia, LA
The number one selling yams in the country come out New Iberia’s own Bruce Foods. Their sweet potatoes can be found from sea to shining sea, and during the holiday’s people know to look for those delicious spuds whether it is for candied yams, sweet potato pie, or perhaps some other crazy kitchen concoction.
The Ambrosia Bakery’s Strawberry Cake, Baton Rouge, LA
With winter in Louisiana comes the beginning of the strawberry harvest, and that also makes it the perfect time to get one of the State’s signature desserts. Baton Rouge’s Ambrosia Bakery has become famous for their strawberry cake. While it may not be a traditional holiday sweet, your guests will stop caring about traditions when you place a wedge of this cake in front of them! Not near Baton Rouge? Not to worry; Ambrosia ships their cakes all over the world!
Slap Ya Mama’s Cajun Pepper Sauce, Ville Plate, LA
There are plenty of hot sauces coming out of Louisiana, so it’s hard to choose just one. However, Slap Ya Mama’s Cajun Pepper Sauce might be just the thing you need to spice up your holiday meal. A few dashes on some bland turkey can turn a poultry disaster into a succulent serving of gobbler. You can also slip a few drops into dressings, casseroles, and more just to give your holidays a little extra heat.
BOOZE BONUS: Celebration Distillation Corporation’s Old New Orleans Cajun Spice Rum, New Orleans, LA
Holidays really aren’t complete without a little booze, so make sure you also grab a bottle of Cajun Spice Rum distilled from Louisiana sugar cane. The Celebration Distillation Corporation makes a line of Old New Orleans rums. The Cajun Spice has hints of cayenne with cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. It is sure to go over well when you’re running out of patience with the in-laws.
Jay D. Ducote is the author of the food and beverage blog Bite and Booze, host of the Bite and Booze Radio Show and co-host of Raise a Glass. You can find him online at biteandbooze.com.