CULINARY THRILL SEEKING — Let SETX good times roll with these Mardi Gras suggestions

Published 7:44 am Monday, February 14, 2022

Cold weather equals gumbo around here.

Mardi Gras memories seem to be showing up on everyone’s Facebook, and it’s time to haul out the purple, gold and green. Get your décor and beads at The Mardi Gras Store in Port Arthur and enjoy Mardi Gras of Southeast Texas, Feb. 24-27.

Read about this area’s big blowout at mardigrastx.com.

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Port Arthur area restaurants have Cajun fare to enjoy… let me know where’s your favorite place to get some boudain!

Shrimp is fresh around here and I don’t mind peeling it myself. It’s interesting to see the color change from a gray and blue to pink as you work with them.

It’s a good opportunity to express gratitude for the shrimpers working in icy waters to get these to our plates.

Good stuff for Mardi Gras or any other season:

Johnny Bootlegger — When purple, gold and green comes in grape, peach and apple shots, it’s Mardi Gras to the max in color scheme.

Short glass flask-shaped bottles of malt beverage come with a racy backstory fit for the silver screen. It’s the real McCoy of flavored fun from johnnybootlegger.com.

Daysmith Coffee – It taste good, has your vitamins, is quick and even pretty low calorie. We’re talking pretty cans of Daysmith Coffee with labeled focus, multi and immunity and in flavors such as Mocha Oat Milk Latte and Straight Black Cold Brew. Let drinkdaysmith.com fill you in on coffee with benefits. Thanks, creators.

Gaia Herbs – Brew the tea, or watch the video of the farm. Both are soothing. “Sleep & Relax Herbal Tea” is considered an herbal supplement to promote a sense of calm and help prep your body for a good night’s rest.

Passionflower, lemon balm and chamomile are doing their thing in these tea bags. The farmers have done much of the work so all you have to do is brew and relax. Up to that? Learn more at gaiaherbs.com.

Chicken Salt – I had no idea. Even when I read up on this Australian tradition, as JADA Spices puts it, I was surprised. The original is spices soaked up in chicken stock, dried and shaken onto your “take-away” fries, etc.

My first experience is Jada’s vegan versions in original, lime and barbecue. Don’t be a chicken, these preservative and MSG-free sea salt blends dare on the label. They can be a table salt or bouillon for dishes like beans, veggies or pulled pork, and season corn, potato salad and guacamole.

It’s fun stuff to play with. The maker created this more healthy option for parents and my best use has been the lime version on eggs. It also put a twist on my annual Chex mix blend. Learn more at jadabrands.com.

Tasting note:

Syrupy – Do you read coffee labels like those on wine bottles? Southern Kitchen Oyster Bar in Mobile, Alabama, has the most lovely design logo and what’s inside the whole bean specialty coffee package is also noteworthy.

The note, in fact, is “syrupy, dark chocolate.” The pleasure begins as you grind it at socumobile.com.

Elderberry is wise choice – It’s the best supplement I’ve ever enjoyed. Good Made Great notes that Socrates called elderberry’s nature’s medicine chest.

They’ve made portable powder packs to mix Lemon and Spice versions into water to get a flavorful berry and Vitamin C boost for 15 calories. What an upgrade from soda water! See it at goodmadegreatfoods.com.

Backcountry Meat Stick – Familiar with biltong? Apex Protein Snacks can get you some, but I’m all good with the Jalapeno & Cheese meat stick that’s with 11 grams of protein.

Firm and flavorful, it’s made with pride. Biltong is similar to jerky and I’m guessing Apex is good at everything in their Alaska-inspired line created in 2020. A lot of “meat snacks” have fillers that make your total of fat and sugar intake more like fast food with fries, makers say.

I sure got a hearty “meaty” experience from this stick. See their very scenic video at apexproteinsnacks.com.

They call it Food Food Fit for Adventure! And that’s something Culinary Thrill Seekers should be into.

Darragh Doiron is a Port Arthur area foodie always letting the good times roll. Reach her at panews@panews.com.