While walking down the bustling streets of the French Quarter in New Orleans, accompany the great window-shopping with a fresh roasted cup of Chicory Coffee. The use of chicory goes back across different cultures at different points in history. One thing is certain, there is nothing like pulling up a seat at the famous Café Du Monde and ordering a hot cup of this delicious coffee. Alongside an order of the ever-so-amazing beignets, of course. It will become very apparent why someone would fall in love with deliciously quaint New Orleans. An added bonus is right outside of the open-air café. A jazz street band will usually set up shop and it only helps boost the overall sensory experience.
Chicory and Coffee – How It Came to Be
Before this becomes a conversation about the New Orleans food, (yes – there is A LOT to try while visiting this metropolis by the bayou) let’s revisit the relationship with chicory and coffee. It would make sense this relationship was strong in New Orleans. This area is where coffee made its main debut into the USA. Chicory, or the root of the endive plant, is similar to a lettuce – and once ground and added to dark roasted coffee, would help soften the overall bitterness.
Chicory came into the limelight during the early 1800’s. As recorded by Antony Wild, (author of ‘Coffee: A Dark History’) the use of chicory became popular in France during Napoleon’s ‘Continental Blockade’ Of 1808. This resulted in a large shortage of coffee. In order to conserve the precious goods, chicory was added as a filler. From this, mixing the two became an adopted practice once French settlers made their way to the US. Eventually settled the New Orleans area. Chicory was adapted by other cultures too: with ties to Native American tribes, and other European countries, as a coffee additive or replacement (during war or times of strife). Today it is still widely consumed, and it is a cultural must to try the coffee blend if and when you visit Louisiana (or anywhere that offers it).
Do you have a coffee, espresso, or tea spot somewhere from your travels that you would like to share? Did it add a different spice or was there something about the blend that made you a fan? Tell us about it!