Friday, April 9, 2010

More Local Flavor

Another day and another spicy road trip with the people at Betty's. A caravan of three vehicles drove to Ville Platte to tour some local Cajun businesses. As usual for this area, the trip involved food and music.

The first stop was Slap Ya Mama Cajun Seasoning where they sell great Cajun spices. The business is run out of an old house and sells a limited line of excellent seasoning for all tastes, but leaning to the hot side. We had used the spice before and bought some of the shrimp boil to cook up more of those fresh shrimp we purchased off the boat last week. If you like spicy you have to try Slap Ya Mama. Above is the house in which the store is located and the owner with Betty. Next we had lunch at the Cajun Smokehouse and, as expected, it was a very good Cajun meal.

We then went to Floyd's Record Shop, the home of Cajun, Swamp Pop and Zydeco music. They have a great collection of hard to find Louisiana favorites, clothing and a big selection of instruments. They were very helpful in leading us to a couple of reasonably priced samples of the local music. As you can see by the sign, Floyd's has been around for over 50 years and going into the store is like stepping back in time while still offering the latest in local music.

The next stop on this road trip was Jack Miller's. This is a small (4 person) operation that makes bar-b-que sauce with a Cajun accent. They mix, cook, bottle and ship the finished product to stores all over the South from a tiny little factory. Jack started making the sauce in the 1940's for his restaurant and it became so popular that he began making it for stores to sell. His son Kermit now runs the business. Above is Kermit explaining the cooker, bottling and labeling machines. The large vat is mustard for the sauce. Top left is the very small office where the whole thing is run from. These businesses that all specialize in local Cajun items are within a couple of miles of each other. It is great to see that not all our food comes from large mass production companies.

To top off the day we returned to Betty's where we had takeout crawfish that we ate with a little Slap Ya Mama. These are just a few more examples of why you need to spend more than a few days in Acadiana. This is a great place where there is a lot to do and, of course, it is more fun under Betty's direction.

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