Where Y’Eat: At Jazz Fest, Food Mashups Add Their Own Jam Sessions

May 2, 2019

The food at Jazz Fest doesn’t change very often, and that means favorite vendors and dishes have become cherished parts of the event.  

But lately I’ve been experimenting. What would happen if I combined different Jazz Fest dishes from various food vendors? Eventually, I came up with a few Jazz Fest mash ups .

Consider the cochon de cracklin' po-boy. Get a bag of cracklin’ from the aptly named vendor Fatty’s, and walk it over to the cochon de lait booth. Add cracklin to the po-boy and you get an intense, audible crunch over the tender pork and slaw.

Next up, the Asian Cajun soft shell crab po-boy. This is a soft shell crab po-boy stuffed with the cool crabstick and cucumber salad from the vendor just a few booths down. It's like a po-boy after a trip through a sushi bar.

Then there’s the boudin grilled cheese: bring some boudin balls over to the Kids Area, where one stand serves a good old-fashioned grilled cheese sandwich. Stick a boudin ball in the gooey American cheese, press it together and dig in to an Acadiana-Americana original.

If it seems like child’s play, well here’s one just for us childish adults. Get a mango freeze, the tropical yellow scoop of ice-cold Jazz Fest relief. Now add some sparking wine, sold in cans around Jazz Fest. Soon you have a mango freeze mimosa to keep you cool with a kick.

And one last riff, get a big tall frozen coffee, then find the espresso ice pops. Dunk frozen pop into creamy frozen coffee and the mellow-sweet burst of caffeine can power you straight through a festival day and into the night shows.

Now all these Jazz Fest dishes are perfectly good before getting the mashup treatment. But a defining aspect of Jazz Fest is the way people make the event their own, bringing their style and rituals to it. We talk about Jazz Fest food so much, how can we resist jamming with it a bit?