Laura’s Southern Dish: The Lingo of Carnival

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As last Thursday marked the official start to Carnival we here at Southern Bite want to make sure that all you folks are in the know because Stacey and I love Mardi Gras!  Be sure to keep this list handy because there will be a lot more Mardi Gras recipes, fun and information to come – so without further ado – Laissez le bon temp rouler!

Ash Wednesday – The day after Fat Tuesday; the first day of Lent; seven Wednesdays before Easter.

Ball – A Mardi Gras Krewe’s formal event and dance

Beads – Necklaces (popular throw) that come in a variety of colors and styles

Beignet – (ben-yay) A square donut with no hole dusted with powdered sugar.

Big Easy – The official nickname of New Orleans

Bisque – A very thick soup often made with crawfish or crab.

Bouillabaisse – A stew or soup made with fish, peppers, and spices.

Boudoin – A liverwurst sausage that is made with rice and pork, chicken, or veal.

Captain – Leader of a Carnival organization

Carnival – The party season before Mardi Gras, starts on January 6 (the Twelfth Night)

Carnival colors – The official colors are purple, green and gold – representing justice (purple), faith (green) and power (gold).

Court – A Krewe’s King, Queen, Maids and Dukes

Crawfish – A freshwater crustacean resembling a small lobster

Den – Mardi Gras float warehouse

Dirty Rice – A rice dish prepared similar to jambalaya, but without the herbs left in.

Doubloons (duh bloons’) – Aluminum coins stamped with the parade Krewe’s insignia and theme

Etoufée (ay-too-fay) – Literally meaning smothered – a succulent, tangy tomato-based sauce. Most commonly – crawfish etoufée or shrimp etoufée.

Fat Tuesday – the literal translation of Mardi Gras

Favor –  A souvenir that Krewe members give to friends

Flambeaux (flam’ bo) –  Lit torches historically carried during night parades

Float – A platform vehicle built to bear a display and maskers/riders in a parade.

Grillades – Medallions of cooked veal in a spicy roux.

Grand Marshal – An honorary role in a parade, often a local celebrity or noteworthy citizen from the community.

Gumbo – Soup/stew made with a combination of seafood, chicken, turkey and sausage and usually thickened with okra.

Hurricane – Famous New Orleans drink usually containing rum and various other liquors

Jambalaya – A dish of Spanish fried rice, sauteed onions, tomatoes, spices and seafood. The ingredients are placed in a pan to simmer and rice is added last.

King Cake – Pastry dusted with sugar (usually purple, green and yellow). A plastic baby is hidden inside and the person who gets the piece of cake with the baby buys the next cake.

Krewe (crue) –  A Carnival organization’s members

Laissez le Bon temp rouler (Lazay Lay Bon Tom Roulay) – Let the good times roll!

Mardi Gras – Fat Tuesday, the day before Lent, the day to celebrate before the traditional Catholic tradition of sacrificing and fasting during the 40 days of Lent.

Maskers – Float riders and anyone dressed in costume

MoonPie – A pastry consisting of two round graham crackers with marshmallow filling dipped in chocolate (or other flavors) made by the Chattanooga Bakery, Inc.

Muffuletta (Moo Fa’ lotta) – Large, round, fat sandwich filled with salami-type meats, mozzarella cheese, pickles, and olive salad

Parade – A Carnival/Mardi Gras parade involves the participation of the crowd as well as maskers tossing throws on decorated floats. .

Praline (Praw leen’) – Brown sugar, pecan-filled, candy patty.

Roux (“roo”) – Thickening base for most soups/sauces in many Creole dishes. It is made by sauteing onions, spices, and seasoned meat, until the onions and other vegetables are clear. Then butter is melted and flour is added and browned with the mixture.

Throws – Trinkets such as beads, cups, and doubloons that are tossed from the floats to the crowds during Mardi Gras parades.

“Throw Me Something, Mister!” – The phrase to remember when requesting beads or other throws from maskers on the floats.

Zydeco (zi-de-co) – Cajun dance music usually with a fast tempo and dominated by the button or piano accordion and a washboard

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