Beignets (pronounced ben-YAYS) have been a New Orleans staple since the 18th century, brought over by the French. Unfortunately the puffy pockets of fried dough smothered in powdered sugar didn’t get their own festival until 2016. By that time the popular favorite had evolved into many different varieties including both sweet and savory options.
Beignet Fest now comes around each year on the first Saturday of October. Use it as an excuse to spend the weekend getting to know the New Orleans version of fried dough.
For dinner try the blue crab beignets at La Petite Grocery. This old storefront houses fine dining inside. Their savory take on this dish are light and flavorful, full of crab meat.
Saturday morning the festival starts at 10 a.m. at the New Orleans City Park Festival Grounds. You can take a streetcar over. If you choose to rent a Blue Bike there is a docking area near the main entrance. Entry is free but bring money to sample the over 30 different beignet dishes. Bring a blanket, relax and enjoy the live local music. Be sure to check out the Artist Market for souvenirs. It all goes to support the Tres Doux Foundation, which funds programs for children with developmental disabilities.
Return home as a true beignet expert. And be sure to tell your friends all about it. Next year they’ll be begging to come along.