Woke up this morning absolutely DREAMING of the beignets and chicory Café au Lait from Café du Monde in New Orleans. I am half French and grew up in a little town in the French Alps – beignets were a weekly if not daily treat (ok my parents were not crazy… maybe hourly). Their pillowy goodness was something I enjoyed so much and sorely missed when we moved to Australia. There is something I love about the French and generally Europe – they don’t make things unnecessarily sweet. Beignet is the French word for doughnut – but there’s a reason I’ve never liked doughnuts myself. They are so different! There are two fundamental parts to a beignet: the beignet itself, which doesn’t taste sweet – they are plain and force you to concentrate on their texture. Pillowy, soft and melt-in-your-mouth. And the icing sugar, which gives you that puff of sweetness in your mouth. And if you’re me, in your throat and into your lungs (cue awkward coughing and sugar-cloud splurt). When in New Orleans, one MUST go to Café du monde 2 to 12 times a day, brave the queue and treat yo-self. It’s absolutely worth it. With their no fuss service (think coffee drenched serving trays and pay as you order system), their very small menu (no triple shot, skim milk, pumpkin spice lattes here) and their 3-beignets servings, it is a shame to miss. And since we couldn’t take the beignets home (although you can buy a make-at-home kit!) we had to take a tin of chicory coffee with us.
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