The Loot

Home again, with a (mostly) hot and red flavoured loot, as all the good ones are. From left to right: Peychaud’s Bitters, native to New Orleans, and indispensable in the equally native Sazerac, apparently the oldest known cocktail. The Sazerac company tells us that ‘Antoine Peychaud, a Creole immigrant, operated a pharmacy on the French Quarter’s Royal Street in the 1830s. With his background as an apothecary, he was a natural mixologist. His friends would gather for late-night revelry at his pharmacy. Peychaud would mix brandy, absinthe and a dash of his secret bitters for his guests. Later this quaff would come to be known as the Sazerac‘. We tried the Sazerac one night and it was fine, though the hotel bar’s version included muddling a maraschino cherry with the bitters, before adding rye whisky (ergo the bottle of Canadian Club, this one all the way from Dubai Duty Free).

Behind the bitters is a packet of space food: freeze-dried ice-cream saucer, they call it; apparently two cookies surrounding an ice-cream filling. Dried ice-cream sounds freaky, and that’s why we got it (from the Spy Museum, DC).

Then, lots of Old Bay seasoning, for crabcakes, crabcakes, and all the things we’ll have to make intsead because of a lack (alas) of fresh crab in these parts.

Next to the Canadian Club, perhaps the crowning glory of our bounty: Absolut Peppar (that’s Scandiwegian for pepper, of course). We were told many moons ago that this is THE best vodka for bloody marys, but have been unable to find it ANYWHERE (even via Danish travellers, so close to the source). But we found this baby lurking on a shelf in a dodgy booze shop (they call themselves the “Unique Grocery”, on Royal Street in New Orleans).

Then, not tabasco per se, but a bottle filled with hot cinammon candy. The real tabasco features in the cool miniature right at the front (how perfect is that for a picnic mary-kit?), and in the bigger bottle mid-left: the new smoky chipotle flavour. This will have to make up for not getting to taste KFC’s new smoked chipotle flavoured chicken (and, I imagine, will rock with pulled pork).

And because you can’t leave New Orleans without buying some kitchy touristy “authentic” (convenience) food, a jambalaya kit, beignet mix (not that I’m aching for another beignet: these pieces of fried dough are huge, heavy, and taste like fried chicken, despite being drowned in icing sugar), and a can of Slap-Ya-Mama cajun seasoning.

Who wants to come for dinner?