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Po-Boy Fest 2011 & BBQ Jackfruit? WTF?!

Hello All!

I wanted to share with you guys about my weekend! Jason and I went to Po-Boy Fest on Oak St. Uptown New Orleans this past Sunday with my mom, step-dad, brother and his girlfriend. It’s a festival a few blocks long of music, art and-you guessed it-different po-boy stands from local restaurants set up all along the street! The past few years I’d always wanted to go but something always came up-plus there really wasn’t going to be a po-boy I could eat most likely. First of all, do ya’ll know what a po-boy is? Let me learn ya a lil sumthin’ in case you don’t! I’m stealing this from FrenchQuarter.com by the way. “…the most widely accepted story holds that the sandwich was invented by Clovis and Benjamin Martin, brothers and former streetcar drivers who opened a restaurant on St. Claude Avenue in the 1920s. When streetcar drivers went on strike in 1929, the brothers took up their cause and created an inexpensive sandwich of gravy and spare bits of roast beef on French bread they would serve the unemployed workers out of the rear of their restaurant. When a worker came to get one, the cry would go up in the kitchen that “here comes another poor boy!,” and the name was transferred to the sandwich, eventually becoming “po-boy” in common usage.” So there you have it! Just a lil ‘ole sandwich for dem poor boys that became such a tradition in New Orleans! Today we have all different kinds of po-boys-roast beef, fried shrimp, oyster, crawfish, eggplant-you name it! If you ever visit, find yourself a po-boy and grab a little taste of New Orleans. The problem for me is the obvious–I very very rarely eat anything fried, and if I want to get an eggplant po-boy, most all people/restaurants use egg in their fry batter. But that’s about to change!

So, back to my Sunday at Po-Boy Fest! I heard through the grapevine that is Facebook that 2 local vegan catering companies – “Dream A Little Green” (http://www.facebook.com/?ref=logo#!/dreamalittlegreen) and “O! Vegasm” (http://www.facebook.com/?ref=logo#!/ovegasm?sk=wall) had teamed up to provide plant-based po-boys for the festival! I was so excited and immediately decided that nothing was going to come between me and eating a po-boy this year! And so we went and oh my goodness-their po-boys were amazing! Jason and I split 2. They used an Asian fruit called “Jackfruit” for both recipes I believe. One was a BBQ jackfruit po-boy with vegan cole slaw on top and it was to-die for! It was smothered in BBQ sauce and was meant to resemble a pulled pork sandwhich. I personally haven’t eaten pork since I was under 10 years old, but my brother and meat-loving my step-dad both said they thought it was amazing and it definitely resembled that flavor. The other po-boy they served was a Maryland Save-the-Crab Cake. This was also awesome, dressed with lettuce and tomato and pickle and maybe a little sauce of some kind–I can’t be sure–we scarfed it down so quickly! My mom ate both of these herself and stood by their stand advertising how awesome they were. She was quite enthusiastic and very impressed with them! After this, I decided that I needed a little more Jackfruit in my life, so I’ve been researching. I even found a recipe that I’m hoping and thinking is similar to their BBQ style po-boy. (http://chowvegan.com/2008/05/28/bbq-pulled-jackfruit-sandwich/). Also, it seems to be a fruit that you can buy fresh, frozen, or canned and that if you can’t find it anywhere else, Asian markets tend to sell them. I’ve read that peeling it yourself can be difficult-so for my first attempt I may try canned or frozen. I’ll post once I get to this! Have any of you heard of or tried jackfruit? If so, send some recipes my way! A whole new world has opened up to me!

Oh and Happy Thanksgiving week!

-Kelli