Red Beans and rice are all about tradition and community. As one of New Orleans number one comfort foods, it’s one of the best meals to eat with family and friends. In fact, if you ask any native New Orleanian who has the best red beans and rice in town, they will probably tell you it’s either their mother or grandmother – perhaps there’s also a friend that makes a killer pot and invites everyone over.
As all the home cooks are slow cooking their pot of red beans, so are the bars, diners, and corner restaurants. For those that don’t have time to soak their beans (or who forgot), there is always a spot around town to grab a bowl of the Monday favorite.
It’s no secret that I love red beans and rice. I want to make an ‘as authentic’ pot of red beans as I can while being outside of the Crescent City. To get the true flavors you have to be inside the city, right? So I started asking around. “How Do You Red Bean?” Everyone I asked not only shared what they put in their pot of red beans but also shared where the best place in New Orleans is to get a bowl if you can’t make a pot at home. Each of the participants in my red bean questionnaire – which musician Paul Sanchez has called, “a uniquely New Orleans series” – offered different tips, ingredients, sides, what to eat with it and what they think of eating red beans on the traditional Monday.
Each of the following people has a great story to share. Everyone comes from different backgrounds. Not all of them were born in Southern Louisiana, but they all have adopted the famous Monday tradition much like I have. And with all the differences they bring to the table, one thing is the same: their love of red beans and rice on a Monday!
Join us around the table as they answer, “How Do You Red Bean?”