One state I’ve regretfully never been to is Louisiana, but I love New Orleans’ dark roasted “Café du Monde” coffee.
Oddly enough, I started drinking it my senior year of high school. I live in the South, so maybe it’s just easier to find here, but I’m hoping my recommendation is heeded and enjoyed. I’ve even found the original coffee variety in an Asian grocery store!
What you need to know is that chicory root is added to this coffee, giving this variety a very unique taste – almost like chocolate. Chicory is the root of the endive plant (lettuce family). Apparently the French, during their civil war, found a clever way to enhance their coffee by taste and necessity, since coffee was more scarce at the time. The recipe was brought to America via the French Acadians (known as “Cajuns”) from Nova Scotia, Canada to New Orleans.
Typically, this Café du Monde coffee is served “au lait”, with the proportion of 1:1, or equal parts coffee and hot/steamed milk. The reason for the au lait is due to the bitterness of the chicory coffee, but you’ll just have to try it. I’ve introduced a few people who were non-coffee drinkers, and they’re converts now.
There is an actual Café du Monde restaurant in New Orleans’ French Market (Choctaw Indian territory), and they’re famous for this coffee and the French pastry, the beignet (pronounced ben-YAY’). They were established in 1862, and are open 24/7!
This Tuesday, March 4th is “Fat Tuesday”, or MARDI GRAS – if you’re down in the French Quarter, go get you some!!