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Der Mississippi in Louisiana, Bild: JB Manning / shutterstock

Louisiana – Home of Jazz

Louisiana has many faces and is crisscrossed by a unique swamp landscape. People love the sounds of blues and jazz, the food is spicy and the Mississippi ends its 4000-kilometer journey through the USA here. The cities are full of music and the beaches are deserted even in summer. But that’s not all Louisiana has to offer.

New Orleans: Hot rhythms in front of a nostalgic backdrop

New Orleans, French Quarter
The French Quarter of New Orleans, Image: f11photo / shutterstock

Jazz was invented in New Orleans and it is still omnipresent today. Life is casual and everyone swings their hips to the hot music. The French Quarter is the heart of the city. Nowhere else are they cocktails more high-proof and the food spicier. In the evening, it’s teeming with street musicians, and then the city turns into an open-air dance floor. Here, the cultures of the immigrants merge harmoniously: behind the historic facades of the houses are small shops with a fascinating range of goods. Art lovers from all over America look for treasures here and you can get a real bargain in the second-hand shops. Each district of the city is designed differently and lively masterpieces of architecture are lined up next to each other. Visitors need many days to discover New Orleans. The city never gets boring.

The Mississippi is the lifeline

Mark Twain made the Mississippi famous with the adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. But hardly anyone knows that Mark Twain is only the pseudonym of the writer Samuel Langhorne Clemens. In Louisiana, Mark Twain means nothing more than “two threads deep” and is a warning call from Mississippi ship pilots. The river has always remained adventurous. Sometimes it shows its peaceful side and then the paddle steamers chug past and revive the old Southern history. It can also flow at full speed towards the delta and then it carries debris and debris that it has collected on its long journey through the USA . The locals say that the river is united like man and woman. At the top he shows himself feminine with his pretty paddle steamers and under the surface of the water he becomes hard as a man with the aggressive alligators and the dangerous shallows.

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The spicy cuisine of the southern states

Creole cuisine
Creole cuisine: rice, sausages and chicken, Image: Ostranitsa Stanislav / shutterstock

Louisiana is also a culinary melting pot. African, Caribbean and European cuisine reinvents itself here and enriches each other. The chefs are more creative and always have new ideas. Creole specialties have the French sophistication and Mexican spiciness. The menus are dominated by crawfish étouffée, spiced lobster meat in a spicy sauce served with rice. Visitors should definitely try gumbo at various restaurants. There are over 1000 variants of this stew, the basic ingredients of which are meat and shellfish. It gets even more adventurous when you order jambalaya. The basis of the pot dish consists of rice and the cook fills up with all the ingredients that the kitchen has to offer. In Louisiana, they love it hot and spicy. All dishes are generally sharper than in other parts of the country. Nevertheless, you can still find countless varieties of hot sauces on restaurant tables. Some restaurants only have a few basic dishes, as the focus is on the range of sauces.

The charm of the southern states

White columned houses, surrounded by tall oaks, still dominate the image of Louisiana. Some areas revive the setting of Gone with the Wind and the mighty mansions of the plantation owners are still full of sad memories. Louisiana is a typical southern state, and yet it is very different from all the others. The country is enchanted with its own parishes in which its own language is spoken and which cultivate their own culture. These communities were founded by the Cajuns and have been preserved for centuries. Louisiana is full of shrill types, but they are deeply religious. Parts of the state belong to the so-called Bible Belt. In these areas, the Sunday service is the most important event of the week. It doesn’t matter whether you are a Baptist or a Protestant. The church services are happier than here and the gospel music makes some visitors fall into ecstasy. A trip through Louisiana remains an unforgettable experience if you get involved with the people and face the challenges.

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Swampy and boozy Louisiana

Where the fresh water of the Mississippi unites with the sea water from the Gulf of Mexico, it becomes swampy. An ideal place for snakes, which have their breeding grounds here. Migratory birds like to stop at the delta and shrimps thrive in the muddy mud. The swamps of Louisiana are a paradise for animals. To people, they seem melancholic, mystical and dangerous. The inhabitants of Louisiana have learned to live with the swamps. They know that dangerous alligators lurk behind the enchanting strips of yew, cypress and reed grass. Nevertheless, the fishermen go out at full moon, because the bright light lures the prey to the surface. In the evening, the fish ends up on the grill. Then the violins sound, the long skirts of the women are swung and the men invite you to square dance. Guests are welcome everywhere and there is a lot of partying in Louisiana. A highlight is Madi Gras, the famous carnival of New Orleans. In August, people meet for White Linen Night. People wear only white cotton clothing and take part in numerous art events. At Hogs for the Cause, the largest barbecue in the USA is served in New Orleans