Louisiana Culinary Adventures Go Beyond the Table
To get a true sense of Louisiana's food heritage, don't just visit our restaurants. Culinary experiences, like crawfish farm and brewery tours, introduce you to the people and products behind our tastiest treats.
Across centuries, cultures and continents, the age-old place to come together and make merry is – where else? – the kitchen table. So it comes as no surprise that Louisiana ranks as one of the happiest states in the nation, seeing as our history lives and breathes not just in monuments and buildings that reflect our culture, but also in every slurp, chomp, lick and chew of food we eat, from home-cooked Cajun and Creole classics to creations by internationally renown chefs.
Every small town and big city offers up restaurants that will have you knocking on their doors again and again, but our deep connection to our land means you can now find a mélange of culinary adventures in the fields that’s as spicy as the food we all love to eat in the kitchen.
Even the most basic ingredients have a story to tell, and if you’ve ever substituted generic rice for Louisiana rice, you know that the seemingly innocuous flavor profile of this ubiquitious Louisiana ingredient can pack the biggest punch in a dish. At Cajun Grain Rice Farm, Kinder, local farmers offer guided tours where you can learn about Louisiana rice, do activities with kids, and catch an insider’s viewing of clips of "Harmony," the film featuring Prince Charles and Cajun Grain Rice. Or check out the Crystal Rice Heritage Farm in Crowley where the fourth generation of the Wright family will take you on a rice and crawfish tour that reveals how Louisiana farmers start the heavenly match of rice and crawfish right in the same field thanks to a special crop rotation system.
Flavor is what it’s all about, after all, in Louisiana, and many family farms provide the gamut of greens and other goodies that give our cuisine its distinctive flavors. At CM Farms in Dry Creek, visitors meet resident Longhorns, plus WhiteFace, an Angus crossbred family pet; scatter crowds of cacklin’ chickens; and sample seasonal growing schedules of all manners of Louisiana produce. Want to bring that great Louisiana flavor back to your own home? Visit one of our many farmers markets, from Shreveport to Baton Rouge, or pick-your-own farms, such as Berry Sweet Orchards in Ethel or Landry Poche Farms in Holden, where you can sample in-season treats and talk with local growers.
Got kiddos in the family? Treat them to a tour of Moreauville's Wesmar Farms, a working goat farm where tours include an introduction to all of the animals plus sample-filled fun revealing how they make milk and cheese possible.
Of course, no Louisiana meal feels complete without a beverage. If your buzz comes from the complexities of bottling, don’t miss the tours at the New Orleans Rum Distillery. Distillation demonstrations begin with an Old New Orleans Rum cocktail and conclude with a sample of four of their local products. Local breweries, such as Abita in Abita Springs and Tin Roof Brewing Company in Baton Rouge, offer tours as well.
Educational gastronomy and great eats: Now there’s something we’ll all happily raise a toast to.