Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Melting Pot

Aaron and Jake paddled an incredible 75 miles Wednesday to mile marker 270.  They did this by getting on the water early and never got out of the canoe all day.  They "rested" in the mid-day heat by floating down the river.  They are 40 miles north of Baton Rouge and some 175 miles north of New Orleans.  Forecast for Thursday is 97 with isolated thunderstorms.

New Orleans – a True Melting Pot

New Orleans was originally founded by the French in 1718 but later ceded to the Spanish Empire in 1763. What we now refer to as Cajuns were actually French Canadian refugees who were banished from northeast Canada after the French and Indian War. In 1763 the Cajuns moved to Louisiana only to find out it was now under Spanish rule, the Cajuns were once again banished – this time to the swamps where they thrived. New Orleans was reverted back to French control in 1801. The architecture of the French Quarter comes from the Spanish period. Napoleon sold the territory to the United States in 1803 which opened the flood gates for French, German, Irish, African and Creole immigrants as New Orleans was one of the main entries into our country in addition to Ellis Island in New York. The Haitian Revolution of 1804 brought refugees from that island which added to the melting pot.

The cultural melting pot has resulted in a culinary melting pot that New Orleans is so well known for. Many of the dishes we enjoy today had a French, Spanish, Haitian or African beginning but use easily accessible local ingredients. Jambalaya for instance, is a spin off of the Spanish dish paella. Gumbo is based on the French dish bouillabaisse but uses the African plant okra to thicken the sauce. Beignet, straight from heaven, is a little fried dough pillow dusted with powdered sugar.

My wife Carol and I are going to arrive in New Orleans on Friday. This will give us a few days to test out this cuisine and make sure it is suitable for Aaron and Jake.

Posted by Aaron's dad


  1. I LOVE the looks of the map. I'm so proud of you guys and all of your supporters. You have certainly made a difference.

  2. Wow guys! We are so proud of you and having been following you every step of the way. Aaron's Dad you have done a great job with the blog. It was nice to meet you at Canoecopia and can't wait to hear all of your adventures!

  3. Also, we would love to have them come and give a talk at the Duluth Pack Store sometime this Fall/Winter! Have them email me, they have the address!