9.28.2014

365 Project Day 271: On New Orleans' Food Influences: Latin

The most recent cultural influx experienced by New Orleans came on the heels of Katrina.  As recovery began, a large population of Latinos came to the city to join in rebuilding efforts and take advantage of prolific job opportunities in the construction trade.  Many stayed, raising Nola's Latino population by 50%.  With them, of course, came wonderful food.

New Orleans is no stranger to Latino folk; Metairie has homed a large Honduran populations since the 1970s along with Cubans and a number of others from Central and South American countries.  But previously restaurant-wise we'd really only had Americanized Mexican - nothing very exciting, and offering little to vegans past stale corn chips and pico.

Excitingly, the revitalized Latino population has led to numerous new vegan dining options.  While more traditional Latino food vendors do tend to use animal fats and stocks in seemingly vegetarian foods, other recent additions offer vegan tacos, pupusas, tamales, empanadas, and more.  We've also seen an influx of Ideal Markets, making relatively exotic fruits and vegetables more available in Nola.

Below, a fun occasional offering from the Taceaux Loceaux food truck - a direct descendent of the more traditional taco trucks that have proved indispensable to the city's workers for the past nine years.

The Notorious V.E.G. (tofu scrabble in corn tortillas) from Taceaux Loceaux

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