Don't call them donuts!
By Ray Willhoft ’00
Is there anything better on a cold day in New Orleans (yes, they do sometimes happen) than indulging with a steaming cup of café au lait (coffee mixed with hot milk) and a plate full of hot beignets loaded with powdered sugar? Few pleasures in life can match that first sip and ever-so-careful bite as you try to keep from blasting yourself and your friends with sticky white powder. Though that can be half the fun.
Originally brought to Louisiana by the Acadians, beignets have become a true New Orleans staple, but locals are quick to correct you if you call them donuts. Yes, they are deep fried pieces of dough, but with their light airy texture and healthy dose of powdered sugar, beignets are so much more.
The most well-known spot for bingeing on beignets is Café Du Monde, located at 800 Decatur Street, which was established in 1862 in the New Orleans French Market. It is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. According to its website (cafedumonde.com), “it closes only on Christmas Day and on the day an occasional hurricane passes too close to New Orleans.”
And if you cannot make it down to the French Quarter, there are seven other Café Du Monde Coffee Stands in the New Orleans metro area. They are located in the Esplanade Mall, Riverwalk Mall, Lakeside Mall, Oakwood Mall, Mandeville, Covington, and Metairie. You can even order Café Du Monde beignet mix online (cafedumonde.com), making this scrumptious treat available any time you get a craving, wherever you are.
So, call beignets delicious, delectable, or even devilish—just don’t call them donuts!
Café Du Monde
800 Decatur Street
New Orleans 70116
Open 24 hours a day
Closes 6 p.m. December 24
Opens 6 a.m. December 26
View the complete spring 2013 issue of LOYNO.