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How to find traditional Fat Tuesday food

Fat Tuesday is today, which, if we’re being honest, is the excuse we’ve all been waiting for to ditch our diets and go all out on a cheat day before completely giving up our sweet and savory guilty pleasures for the long, long Lent season.

No matter your religious affiliation, it’s the perfect time to indulge in the fattiest, fried, sugar-infused foods, and depending on where you’re from, that includes a host of traditional and non-traditional recipes.

Louisiana Donuts and Pastries in Nederland serves a traditional New Orleans style plate of beignets served with a side of jam. (Courtesy photo)

Mardi Gras is French for Fat Tuesday. For America, the holiday is often synonymous with New Orleans, but the feast is celebrated across the world with different foods.

In the United Kingdom, Fat Tuesday is Pancake Day. In Poland, it’s Paczki Day, which refers to the jelly-filled doughnuts they eat. In Spain, it’s omelet day and in countries like Estonia, Finland and Iceland, residents eat different versions of pea soup.

Kimmy’s Café was selected as the best pancakes in Port Arthur last year. (Courtesy photo)

Here are several Fat Tuesday foods and where some of the places to get them in Mid- and South County are:

1. Beignet — the French term for a pastry made from deep-fried pastry and topped with powdered sugar.

  • Louisiana Donuts & Pastries, 3624 FM 365 Nederland.
  • Rao’s Bakery, 3504 FM 365 Nederland

2. Po-boy — A traditional sandwich from Louisiana that consists of fried seafood (shrimp, oysters, catfish) served on New Orleans style French bread.

  • Larry’s French Market & Cajun Restaurant, 3701 Pure Atlantic Rd., Groves.
  • Tia Juanita’s Fish Camp, 3400 Jimmy Johnson Blvd., Port Arthur.
  • Neches River Wheelhouse, 720 Lee Ave., Port Neches.
  • Touch of Cajun, 1147 Boston Ave., Nederland.

3. King Cake — A type of cake made of a rich, brioche dough with a wide array of fillings such as cinnamon, fruit and cream cheese.

  • The Golden Croissant, 2904 FM 365, Nederland.
  • Debbie’s Delight, 2209 7th, Port Neches.
  • Sugar Momma Confections, 4311 Lincoln Ave., Groves.
  • Daviss Donuts & Deli, 1706 FM 365, Nederland.

4. Boudin Balls — Pork sausage made with rice and seasoning usually stuffed into a casing.

  • The Boudain Hut, 5714 Gulfway Dr., Port Arthur.
  • Larry’s French Markey & Cajun Restaurant, 3701 Pure Atlantic Rd. Groves.
  • The Schooner Restaurant, 1507 U.S. 69 Access Rd., Nederland.

5. Pancakes — A flat cake, often think and round, cooked on a hot surface topped with butter and syrup.

  • Kimmy’s Café, 2950 Jimmy Johnson Blvd., Port Arthur.
  • Groves Café & Coffee Bar, 6039 39th, Groves.
  • The Feed Store, 301 Grigsby Ave., Port Neches

6. Crawfish Étouffée — A dish found in Cajun and Creole cuisine served with shellfish over rice.

  • Reel Cajun Seafood, 7500 Twin City Hwy., Port Arthur.
  • Maria’s Diner, 3848 Main Ave., Groves
  • The Schooner Restaurant, 1507 U.S. 69 Access Rd., Nederland.
  • Neches River Wheelhouse, 720 Lee Ave., Port Neches

7. Paczki — Deep-fried pieces of dough filled with jelly and topped with   powdered sugar.

  • Donut Hole, 3324 Pure Atlantic Rd., Groves.
  • Louisiana Donuts & Pastries, 3624 FM 365, Nederland.
  • Walmart, 4999 Twin City Hwy., Port Arthur.