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Louisiana Souvenirs - Mardi Gras Beads

Louisiana Souvenirs 

Tuck these items in your suitcase and take a piece of Louisiana home with you. When travelling to Louisiana you can have an "off-the-beaten-path experience” and explore locations other than Bourbon Street and find one-of-a-kind shops. If you take a few guided tours you will have the opportunity to purchase some great Louisiana-style souvenirs. 

1. Louisiana-made hot sauce

Cajuns like their food with a little kick, so it’s no surprise that there are multiple hot sauces produced in Louisiana. The appropriately named Louisiana Hot Sauce, Crystal Hot Sauce and the world-famous Tabasco Sauce will bring a taste of Louisiana to your meals back home. 

2. All your favourites

Shopping is a local sport with all the most popular stores and brands; Ralph Lauren, Saks Fifth Avenue, Banana Republic, Victoria Secrets, Coach, Old Navy, Nine West and many more !

3. A bag of Community Coffee beans

Community Coffee has been a Louisiana tradition since 1919 and for more than 90 years this family-owned company has been helping Cajuns wake up. For coffee lovers you can buy a bag of beans for a Louisiana-flavoured breakfast no matter where you are. 

4. A box of Cafe du Monde beignet mix

Beignets are the powdery, rectangular cousin of the donut. They’re nearly impossible to find outside of Louisiana, so your best bet is to buy a box of the mix and make your own back home. 

5. Boudin

Cajuns do not consider boudin to be sausage & non-Cajuns think this mixture of rice and pork, shrimp or crab inside a casing is sausage - try for yourself and see what you think. Either way, it’s delicious. You can pick some up at any grocery store or butcher in Louisiana.

6. My very own voodoo doll

If you are in Louisiana and even slightly curious about Voodoo you should visit Voodoo Authentica in the French Quarter, New Orleans. At this point, Louisiana voodoo is mostly just foolishness fun.  If you are visiting around Halloween you can participate in Voodoofest for a full day of fun. 

7. A King Cake baby

No Mardi Gras is complete without a King Cake. While you can probably bake that with ingredients from your cupboard, you also need a king cake baby. Tucked into the cake, this tiny plastic baby determines who will be baking the (rather labour intensive) cake for next year’s celebration. If you get the baby, you bake the cake. During Mardi Gras season, Haydel’s Bakery gives out handcrafted porcelain collectibles in place of plastic babies to purchasers of their delicious cakes. You can then have your own Mardi Gras party back home! 

8. Something with a fleur de lis on it

The official symbol of the Louisiana state, this design is also worn in New Orleans to show support for the city’s recovery in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Fleur de lis are everywhere in Louisiana, so no matter your gender or age, you’ll be sure to find something. 

9.Mardi Gras beads

It doesn’t matter what time of year you visit Louisiana, your friends will be delighted if you bring them a few strands of authentic Mardi Gras beads, which are available all year round in gift shops. 

10. Cajun-specific spices

Cajun food is some of the best food in America and that’s partially thanks to all those amazing spices. If you want to Cajun-i-fy your food at home you can use Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning or Slap Ya Mama Cajun Seasoning.

 

Tuck these items in your suitcase and take a piece of Louisiana home with you.

By Sarah Von Bargen

When I headed to Louisiana for two weeks, I was determined to have an "off-the-beaten-path experience.” By gosh, I was going to explore locations other than Bourbon Street and find one-of-a-kind shops. And the souvenirs I would buy? Well, they were going to be Grade-A real. None of those shot glasses and ‘Someone In New Orleans Loves Me’ t-shirts!

Well, I was pretty successful. I ended up taking a few guided tours—which were awesome!—and managed to round up some pretty fantastic, Louisiana-style souvenirs.

Here’s what I brought home:

1. Louisiana-made hot sauce Cajuns like their food to have a little kick, so it’s no surprise that there are multiple hot sauces produced in Louisiana. The appropriately named Louisiana Hot Sauce, Crystal Hot Sauce and the world-famous Tabasco will bring a taste of Louisiana to your meals back home.

2. All your favourites

Shopping is a local sport with all the most popular stores and brands; Ralph Lauren, Saks Fith Avenue, Banana Republic, Victoria Secrets, Coach, Old Navy, Nine West and many more !

3. A bag of Community Coffee beans Community Coffee has been a Louisiana tradition since 1919. For more than 90 years, this family-owned company has been helping Cajuns wake up. Buy a bag of beans for a Louisiana-flavored breakfast no matter where you are. 4. A box of Cafe du Monde beignet mix Beignets are the powdery, rectangular cousin of the donut. They’re nearly impossible to find outside of Louisiana, so your best bet is to buy a box of the mix and make your own.

5. Boudin Cajuns do not consider boudin to be sausage. Non-Cajuns think this mixture of rice and pork, shrimp or crab inside a casing is sausage. Either way, it’s delicious. Pick some up at any grocery store or butcher in Louisiana.

6. My very own voodoo doll At this point, Louisiana voodoo is mostly just fun foolishness. Regardless, wouldn’t it be awesome to have your own doll, so you can threaten to put the gris gris on your kids when they start arguing in the back seat? Check out Voodoo Authentica in the French Quarter for all your voodoo needs.

7. A King Cake baby No Mardi Gras is complete without a King Cake. While you can probably bake that with ingredients from your pantry, you also need a king cake baby. Tucked into the cake, this tiny plastic baby determines who will be baking the (rather labor intensive) cake for next year’s celebration. You get the baby, you bake the cake. During Mardi Gras season, Haydel’s Bakery gives out handcrafted porcelain collectibles in place of plastic babies to purchasers of their delicious cakes.

8. Something with a fleur de lis on it The official symbol of the state, this design is also worn in New Orleans to show support for the city’s recovery in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Fleur de lis are everywhere in Louisiana, so no matter your gender or aesthetic, you’ll be sure to find something.

9.Mardi Gras beads It doesn’t matter what time of year you visit Louisiana, your friends will be absolutely thrilled if you bring them a few strands of authentic Mardi Gras beads. Available year round in gift shops, you can buy necklaces for everyone you know for under $20.

10. Cajun-specific spices Cajun food is some of the best food in America and that’s partially thanks to those amazing spices. Cajun-i-fy your food at home with the help of Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning or Slap Ya Mama Cajun Seasoning.

 

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