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Today is Fat Tuesday and we will honor the day with a lunch, cocktail and a dinner special.
Today's lunch special is a crab cake po boy sandwich. If you weren't familiar with the history of the po-boy, it is said to be invented by the Martin brothers, Benny and Clovis, to feed striking streetcar drivers in New Orleans in 1929. According to an account on the website of the Oak Street Po-Boy Festival, Benny Martin once said: "We fed those men free of charge until the strike ended."
For dinner we are featuring Jambalaya. The origin of both the name and the dish known as "jumbalaya" are unclear, perhaps appropriately, considering the number of ingredients and variations involved. It developed in Louisiana under various European, African, and Native American influences, and a place and time when written records of recipes were uncommon. Until very modern times, Louisiana cooking was largely confined to the local region with the result that folklore has often became “fact.” Jambalaya represents the "melting pot" that is New Orleans in a very literal way.
Finally we are featuring the classic French Quarter cocktail, the Sazerac. The original drink was made with Sazerac de Forge et Fils cognac and Peychard used to serve his blend warmed up to his waiting customers when dispensing prescriptions. He marketed it as an ailment to all ills and served it in a small egg cup so that it could be swallowed like a shot. Customers loved it and it was clear that there would be a market for such a new and exciting drink. A local coffee house got wind of the tasty beverage and bought the rights to the bitters so that they could claim to be the sole establishment that sold the Sazerac cocktail. It was here that the cognac was changed to rye whiskey, after the restriction of French alcohol in the 1890s, and the drink became the cocktail that we know today.