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Catherine Fellows gets a taste ofl ouisiana in the centre of lidinl‘mrgh and comes away with some Cajun recipes.

Doug Bell and Rhoda lx’ohei tsoii went looking for the hest lt rod iii America. they hay'c eoiiie hack to Edinburgh a year later with a suitcase fttll of recipes and their souls smitten with the South. lhey are currently sharing their experience at the Pelican bar in the ( ‘ow gate: not only do they prepare their selection of(‘ajun. Soul Food. \Vhite trash and (‘reole dishes tlieniselycs. they also take the orders and ser‘y e the food. The aim is to create sortie-thing ofthe atmosphere of netghlioui‘liood hospitality that is. for them. the principal ingredient iii Southern cooking.

In contrast to the hulk. fill-your-lace. iunk food for w hrch the [:8 has a reputation in the average itnagtnation. loy'irigly prepared Southern dishes are pi i/ed as much asan cypressioii of community tradition .is for their flayours. Doug and Rhoda were tleligltlctl t'i tltsctiy ct ll~ iyy

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( .ii1ii‘: find was historically the tlllslllt of l ly'llyll \tcadiatts. who sc‘ttlt'ti lit thel iitzistaitaswartiplartds hay lil;‘ iletl the harsh e littt.itc ol \oya Sco'ia. llielt original finding point. lotlieti It.isisol l rcrielicottntty

tottisriig tltc‘. atltletl ingredients

corn. hearts and techniques learned from their new Red lndian neighhottrs. Before land was reclaimed for agriettlturc. they depended trpon food that cottld he gathered or htttttcd wild. 'l‘here is still a strong emphasis on game and fish in ( itt‘ltltlettttklttg.

Soul Food is the cookirtg originally dey eloped hy the hlack population. literally from the scraps that the white landowners would not touch. New ()l‘leélllS hutchcrs still display such trugal delicacies as pickled pigs lips. Soul chefs are famous for their delicious fried food.

White-trash cooks deny the hlacks’ claim that. not knowing how to liy'e poor. the w hite settlers had to learn from them; httt their cuisine is very much Soul l’ood modified to white tastes less spicy arid less greasy. A w hite—trash cook will think nothing of throwing a tirt of condensed mushroom or celery soup into a stew. or using it as a sauce hase. 'l’here is men a fiy'e-can tuna fish casserole which is. apparently. excellent.

ll ('aiun is rural food. ('reole is its htg city hrother. ('reole is perhaps the most eclectic and tttost liuropean-influenced cuisine. As a major trading port. New Orleans rcceiy ed foodstuffs. spices and

Perhaps the dish which sums up

l cooking tips from all oy'er the world.

Sottthern cooking is the (iumho. lt

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depends upon ingredients from each of the major sources and is traditionally a comrnurtity pot ey'cryone contrihtitirtg what they had grown or caught and gathering m musse to eat it. It is flay'out'cd with a dcriy atiy'e of the French roux mixture. thickened with a Red lndian speciality called file pow der. and its name refers to the okra itt it. which was originally hrought oy'er from Africa on the slave ships. Southern food is extremely y‘aried. httt certain cooking processes and ingredients predominate. A meal might hegin with tasty finger food like (‘ajtin popcorn (hahy prawns fried in spicy cornmeal). or a shrimp or crayfish hoil (seafood thrown into hoiling liquid. drained and ready for finger-picking). 'l‘his could well he followed by specialin fried chicken orpork. ora stew usuallyofthe same meat or seafood. arid nearly always iny'olying some comhination of celery. green peppers. spring onions. garlic. cayenne pepper. Worcester sauce and 'l'ahasco. 'l‘raditional accornpaniments are rice. hearts. corn. corn bread (like a savoury sponge cake) and potato salad. (Doug and Rhoda were told by an old hand. putting a large dollop of this last into his sotipy (iumho. that , this was the only way to eat Southern food. ) Southern sweet pics are perhaps the best-known aspect of the cuisine over here pecans. molassiJ