Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Tomato fest

We went to the Creole Tomato Festival a few weekends ago, and I thought I would share some images from that tasty, tasty event. Colin and I went down to the French Market on June 15th to see what the tomato harvest looked like this year. We purchased a box of famous Becnels tomatoes, grown nearby in Belle Chase (which is just over the Mississippi river from us, about a 15 minute drive from downtown New Orleans). I have heard claims from locals that Becnel's tomatoes are the best of the local offerings, so I decided we needed to see for ourselves.

The rumors are true, these are dang tasty tomatoes.

We also got to try a southern specialty at the festival, fried green tomatoes. These were amazing. the corn breading was crunchy, but not too oil soaked, the tomatoes firm, bright green and flavorful, and the rémoulade sauce on top was to die for. Colin and I really savored the four slices we got for 5$, a reasonable investment since they were not only delicious, but also filling.

Green tomato slices, don't they look good? The staff of Voleo's Seafood Restaurant prepare the tomatoes by dipping them in cornmeal.

Perhaps the most exiting part of the day was the fact that the US Mint, a defunct mint and now a museum in the French quarter, was offering free admission. This meant that Colin and I were able to see the new exhibit Treasures of Napoleon for free. The exhibit was pretty awesome, filled with artifacts from all stages of Napoleon's life, from his schoolboy letters, to items from his home on St. Helena. The exhibit was well laid out, had beautiful pieces, and was informative. NPR has been playing advertisements for this exhibit for a while, which say: "Come see Treasures of Napoleon, at the old US mint ....(artifacts) including the sword that proclaimed him emperor, as well as one of his hats!". We were pleased to see that the exhibit did indeed include one of his hats, since that had been mentioned so prominently in the advertisement. We walked through the exhibit and would say to each other, this is awesome, but where is his hat? Finally in the last room of the show we found the hat. For some reason this made us ridiculously happy.

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