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Louisiana Eats: A Trifecta Of Centennial Celebrations

Red beans and rice
Camellia Brand

From New Orleans to Shreveport, Lafayette to Baton Rouge, Louisiana residents know one thing for sure: we have some good Louisiana eats! And we are loyal when it comes to those eats and everything that goes along with them. We want the waiter in our favorite century-plus-old restaurant to be the same person who waited on us in childhood. And we expect our classics – from the red beans in the pot to the hot sauce we douse over it liberally – to be exactly the same as we remember from our grandmother's table growing up. This week, we take a look at three Louisiana companies that each have satisfied local appetites for the last 100 years.

We begin with Vince Hayward, whose family began and built one of Louisiana's most beloved brands that has lasted four generations – Camellia Brand. Vince spills the beans on how the company marked their centennial and tells us how they are looking ahead to the next century.

Next, we hear from Pepper Baumer, third-generation producer of Crystal Hot Sauce – a local favorite that is still made with the same three ingredients that Pepper's grandfather began with in 1923. As a member of one of New Orleans' premier food industry families, Pepper was taught that with great success comes great responsibility.

Finally, we head to Ponchatoula, Louisiana to visit Elmer Chocolate, the candy company behind Heavenly Hash – a popular Easter treat that commemorated the century mark in 2023. President and CEO Rob Nelson gives us a tour of their state-of-the-art manufacturing facility.

For more of all things Louisiana Eats, be sure to visit us at PoppyTooker.com.

Poppy is the host and executive producer of the weekly show, Louisiana Eats! Food personality, culinary teacher and author, Poppy Tooker is passionate about food and the people who bring it to the table.