Tasting the World at SoFAB

This past weekend at the Southern Food & Beverage Museum, we explored the flavors of Italy and France with the help of international and local talent. The food of New Orleans has always reflected the influences of Europe, especially French and Italian cuisines. This weekend was a chance to celebrate our culinary heritage (#NOLA300!) and learn about delicious food, while enjoying what our local chefs and businesses are creating. 


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First, on Saturday we welcomed the Prosciutto di Parma team and their resident Prosciutto Expert Fracesco Lupo for a tasting and pairing. Chef Kevin O'Brien worked with the team to develop delicious bites that showcased the many ways you can use the cured ham. Prosciutto wrapped scallops, anyone?

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Lupo hand-carved slices from a whole leg of prosciutto and discussed the history of the cured meat. Since Roman times, this geographically protected food became world renowned for its delicate and sweet flavor. Prosciutto di Parma can only be produced from the hind legs of specially selected heritage breed pigs raised in 11 regions of Italy according to the highest standards. In Parma, making prosciutto ham is part of an age-old tradition passed on from generation to generation and the methods used thousands of years ago have remained consistent. Everything was absolutely delizioso!


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Then on Sunday, we crossed the Alps and celebrated our French heritage with French Morning magazine's Battle of the Best Croissant. Four bakeries brought their favorite croissants, of all flavors and styles, along with other delightful treats (cream puff swans, anyone?). Attendees got to sample as many as they physically could, but they had to have their expert taste buds ready to vote for their favorite bakery for the People's Choice award. Professional judges conferred in the Shed and chose the best Chocolate Croissant and the Best Overall Croissant. Those who opted for the full brunch enjoyed an amazing spread from our SoFAB team. Many, many croissant crumbs were created. 

The Bakeries:

  • People's Choice: Mayhew Bakery
  • Best Chocolate Croissant: La Petite Sophie
  • Best Croissant Overall: La Boulangerie

Many thanks to the Gold sponsors: Cacao NoëlBeurremontChâteau d'Esclans.


Join us for the month of May 2018 as we Spotlight all Education Programs as part of the 10 Years of SoFAB programming! From cooking classes for children, hosting interns from across the country and globe, and assisting research fellows, SoFAB has continued to foster the curiosity and exploration of southern foodways from all levels of education and experience.