When you’re ready to let the good times roll, there’s no place like New Orleans to cut loose, indulge in local grub, sip something intoxicating, and soak up the atmosphere — while tapping your toes to some of the best music on the planet.
New Orleans was born as a port city in 1718. What set New Orleans apart then (and now) is how it created a unique culture from the diverse people who populated the city. New Orleans got its defining characteristics — a sense of hospitality, its food, its music — from enslaved and formerly enslaved people, Native Americans, and immigrants from France, Spain, the Caribbean, and Italy.
There’s a lot to see and do, but if we’re being honest, the real draws are food and music — and the annual street party that brings them together: Mardi Gras.
In this episode, we dig into a little bit of history and a whole lotta music and food, including the magic of jambalaya and the difference between cajun and creole. We also tell you how to find the best parades during Mardi Gras and get real about a haunted house.
Then we recommend great books that took us there on the page, including a fantasy novel with voodoo zombies and enchanted graffiti, an over-the-top cookbook that captures the spirit of the city, an exploration of Katrina’s impact on nine different lives, a historical murder mystery with tons of atmosphere, and a gorgeous novel that weaves a family saga with sci-fi.
Here are the five books about New Orleans we recommend on the show:
For a complete roundup of all the books we recommend, plus a full transcript and the other cool stuff we talked about, visit the Episode 46 show notes.
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