Food During the Mardi Gras Celebration

Topics: Mardi Gras, Lent, Louisiana Pages: 9 (3546 words) Published: December 2, 2012
Food During the Mardi Gras Celebration
Mardi Gras began as a historical event to celebrate the day before Ash Wednesday in Christian celebrations. This has later become known as the Catholics holy day of obligation where the members of the church would begin their 40 day period of austerity. This 40 day period leading up to Easter Sunday is known as Lent. Fat Tuesday was another for Mardi Gras. In France Fat Tuesday was on its way to becoming a day of excess and disorderly behavior before the Lenten celebration. It is a day of a last gastronomical hurrah before the authoritarian season of Lent activates (Sexton 298). Drunkenness and immortality are not the way the Christian community wants to be represented, nor do they portray themselves as that. However Mardi Gras is a dramatic presentation some of these important biblical themes. This may seem backwards to the communities outside of the church but it has been claimed to say they are just getting it out of their system before the solemnity of the Lenten season takes over. Getting drunk and being a glutton before lent is not the path god, but it is a way for the strict to let free before a time of sobriety and repentance is set upon the Christian faith. In the streets of France Mardi Gras as a celebration has become popularized. Rowdy bands would play singing and dancing from house to house performing comical acts, exchanging food and feasting in fete of the holiday. The goal of Mardi Gras was to run something close to a charity to bring the communities together. Money and food would be collected for later distribution and a sense of community was provided for the participants involved. It helped to involve those of the neighborhood and promote sense of identity among the community. Mardi Gras was known only as just that as it spread into New Orleans. Only in Louisiana did this terminology for this day become recognized. When the French settlers came to Louisiana, the Caribbean, Mississippi Valley and Quebec French speaking peoples did as well. At the introduction of these peoples, the African slaves became acknowledged to the population. The French Acadian population started coming over shortly thereafter (Hill 69). The word Creole became notorious as a common label for those who were born in this colony. Although the decadences of the Acadian culture remained known as the Acadians; this way they were able to keep the ethnic label on their name. The word Creole is from the Latin word creare meaning to create. It’s most basic meaning is to use it as a noun and it means “new to the southern French and Spanish colonies.” The traditional cuisine of the creoles is packed full of flavor. The ingredients said to be used are onions, garlic, bell peppers, celery, fat, and many spices. Another Holy trinity that comes out of this Mardi Gras culture is to be known as bell peppers, celery and onions. Garlic has been referred to as the pope. Many, many beans are included from white to kidney and everything in between. Seafood along with shellfish cooked with loads of different spices is a way of the Creoles as well (Tucker 24). Creole has been evolved to the meaning of everything homemade. They use fresh goods when comparing to the West, North and the Europeans. They are no longer recognized from their descendants, they have made a path for themselves in New Orleans and have reshaped into a new culture. One of the astounding dishes that came out of this time is known as gumbo. It is a reflection of overall cultural consolidation and growing melting pot. The emergence of gumbo was derived from an African word for okra. It became a staple dish; it resembles a soup recipe and utilizes roux. It contains browned flour with oil, okra, chicken, sausage and local wild fowl. It is served over rice and it was introduced by the slaves of West Africa. In West Africa these slaves were a part of the rice growing regions and the roots stem all the way back there. A major quote that stood out...
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