What’s not to love about Mardi Gras? As a holiday, it’s as rich in culinary flavor as it is in tradition. Although most people associate Mardi Gras, (or Fat Tuesday) with New Orleans, the holiday has roots in medieval Europe. Many of the Mardi Gras traditions celebrated in the Big Easy originated in France, which reveled in boeuf gras (fatted calf). On this day, Catholic faithfuls would parade a fattened ox through the streets to symbolize the last meat eaten before the Lenten fast. Wherever or however Mardi Gras is celebrated, one thing has remained true through the years: it’s a great time to indulge. If you’d like to go beyond the traditional Mardi Gras fare of beignets and King Cake, try these delicious treats from France, the home of this lavish holiday.
1. Fig Jam
Of the colors of Mardi Gras—purple, gold, and green—purple stands for justice. Celebrate the holiday’s royal history by spreading this organic (and beautifully purple) jam on baguette with Brie.
2. Chestnut Cream
Chestnuts contain high levels of heart-healthy essential fatty acids, like linoleic acid. This Chestnut Cream is a delectable way to put the gras in Mardi Gras.
3. Olive Dijon Mustard
Dijon’s own Domaine des Vignes uses vinegar distilled from Bordeaux and Charente wines to make this olive mustard. It makes a distinctive glaze for meat or, if you’d like to kick it Louisiana style, a great dressing for a Po’ Boy sandwich.
4. Salted Butter Caramels
These melt-in-your-mouth caramels are dusted with Breton fleur de sel finishing salt, and the vintage-inspired tin box is a perfect way to gift the spirit of Mardi Gras.
5. Hot Chocolate
Those of us who are not in balmy New Orleans may need a warm drink while letting the good times roll. And if you’d like to spike your hot chocolate, We suggest adding Peppermint Schnapps for a minty twist.
6. Pork Liver Confit
There are plenty of decadent options for revelers without much of a sweet tooth, like this confit, which pairs well with gherkin pickles.
7. Double Chocolate Cookies
It’s hard to get more decadent than “Double Chocolate.” These cookies from La Mère Poulard are indulgence in cookie form.
© Palais des Thés
8. Thé des Vahinés Vanilla Tea
This tea combines the warm flavors of vanilla and almond with rooibos, a perfect match for French butter cookies.
9. Clementine Jam
Represent the Mardi Gras gold (which stands for power) with this citrus jam, made with Corsican clementines.
10. Apple Caramel Cookies
Chefs from Louisiana and France share a love of butter. These mouthwatering apple caramel cookies are made with rich butter from Brittany.