I really love being from Louisiana. I love to share the stories and the flavors that make my state unique. We love to eat here and we love to live life. There’s always a reason to celebrate and we’ll open our homes up to just about anyone.
We may not always be PC, but we definitely have our own personality. We have our own style. We cook good food. We make awesome music. But the most important thing is, visitors always leave with a little bit of Louisiana in their hearts.
I want to share a few things I love about Louisiana and I hope you’ll share some of your favorites too. Read at the end of this post on how you can win a few of these items I love.
Coffee – I’ve been drinking Community Coffee since I was two years old. No kidding! My mom used to fix me coffee milk on Saturday mornings while I watched cartoons. This company has been around for 90 years and has been a part of Louisiana daily life for generations. In fact, my grandmother, who moved to another state 30 years ago, asks for 10 lbs of Community Coffee every Christmas and birthday. The company name says it all – Community. That’s what we’re about in Louisiana.
Jambalaya – We don’t eat to live around here, we live to eat, and nothing is better than cooking up a big ole pot of jambalaya that feeds a large number of people. This is a dish that is served in fine dining restaurants around the world for a pretty penny, but on any given Saturday in a parking lot somewhere in Louisiana, you’ll be able to pick up a plate for around $5 (and probably help a good cause). Chef Joh Besh has a tip for vegetarian jambalaya: “For a delicious vegetarian jambalaya – that packs all the flavor of a meat-filled version – add eggplant, zucchini, squash, and plenty of onions and garlic.”
Do you love jambalaya and have a rockin’ recipe? Zatarains is holding the Jambalaya Throwdown where you could win $2500. Check out all the details at Zatarains Jambalaya Throwdown.
Stories – Boy do we like to tell some good stories around Louisiana. Every little town has their legendary characters, but the state of Louisiana has some larger than life history too. We’ve got Bonnie and Clyde in the northern parishes and the King Fish down here in Baton Rouge. There’s also this fantastic children’s book available called “Good Night NOLA“. It is in the style of “Goodnight Moon”, but brings together some of the special things that make New Orleans and Louisiana memorable.
Festivals – We have festivals and parties for everything. Many towns have their own claim to a food item, such as the Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival to the Gonzales Jambalaya Festival. Whatever the reason, be it happy or sad, there will be a gathering of people and anyone standing around is probably invited.
Spirits – Louisiana has spirits in abundance. Whether you are looking for ghosts and haunted places like The Myrtles Plantation in St. Francisville or Brennan’s in New Orleans, all the way to spirits of the consumed type, you can find it somewhere around.
Animals – Okay. Okay. I know the people around here sometimes act like animals, but this place is really awesome for wildlife and ecology too. You should check out Bayou Woman’s blog, where she brings readers into her life as a boat captain in the Louisiana Wetlands. We have critters in our ecosystems that can’t be found anywhere else. And don’t forget about the zoos and wildlife centers located around the state. The Audubon Zoo in New Orleans even has its own song. You can get on down to the Audubon Zoo by taking advantage of the W New Orleans Dino-Snore Package.
Football – Are you ready for some football? I know my family is ready for kickoff of the 2009 season. Our life in the Baton Rouge area revolves around the LSU and SEC football schedule. If you plan on getting married in Baton Rouge during an LSU game, don’t be surprised if the guests are sparse. Sure, there are other football teams in the state, but at our house, we only recognize one!
I’d like to invite you to share some of your favorite things about Louisiana. If you have a special memory or a place that is dear to your heart, please leave it in the comments. Feel free to leave a link if you’ve written a story about Louisiana. Each comment will be entered to win goodies from my home state. Prize includes a Community Coffee Gift Pack (pictured above), a Zatarains Jambalaya Throwdown Kit (so that you can cook some tasty vittles and enter their contest), and a copy of Goodnight NOLA.
One entry per email address. Tweet your favorite memory about Louisiana with the hashtag #LouisianaLove to get an extra entry. Just be sure to place a link to the tweet in the comments so your tweet will count. US Residents only please. One winner will be chosen randomly through Random.org and will have three days to respond with their mailing address to Shannon at ShannonLane.com. Contest ends Tuesday, July 28 at midnight CST with winner being announced in this post sometime the next day. Laissez les bon temps roullet!
Winner Update: Congrats to Sarah who won the giveaway. Sarah commented that she has yet to visit Louisiana. Hopefully these goodies will entice you to make the trek. Thanks to everyone who left a comment. I read each one and have to say that I y’all made me even more proud to be from Louisiana. Please make plans to come back here.