A superlative guide to a great state’s destinations, hosted by Errol Laborde, Executive Editor of Louisiana Life Magazine.
Episode 127: The Disease - One Man’s Journey Through a Life with Leprosy
42:55Officially known as “Hansen’s disease” but the world recognizes the jarring, more familiar term “leprosy.” A place in south Louisiana known as Carville was, along with a facility in Hawaii, the national center for the care of patients with the disease. Author Anne Harmon Brett joins Louisiana Life Executive Editor Errol Laborde, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot, to tell her moving story of being raised by parents who first met at Carville. Based on the memoirs of her father and her own recollections, Brett tells stories of compassion, family loyalty and determination. Brett also discusses the contemporary status of the disease. This is a moving story not to be missed.
Episode 126: Tales of the Crawfish
39:11So, you thought you knew a lot about crawfish. Well, how about this? What global event triggered the interest in boiled crawfish in Louisiana? Sam Irwin, the author of the book “Louisiana Crawfish, A Succulent History of the Cajun Crustacean,” joins Louisiana Life Executive Editor Errol Laborde, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot, to tell tales of the crawfish including the impact that the critters had on the rice industry, the most productive growing areas and the ongoing debate over "sucking the heads." Also, Irwin, who is also a jazz musician and historian provides, for the first time ever, a live podcast musical interlude.
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Episode 125: Louisianians of the Year - Class of 2023
32:47There is so much talent in Louisiana that selecting finalists for Louisiana Life’s annual Louisianian of the Year issue is one of the magazine’s toughest challenges. But, It was accomplished! And, there are many promising prospects left for the future. Louisiana Life Editor Melanie Spencer joins Errol Laborde, the magazine’s Executive Editor, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot to boast about this year’s list consisting of a woman working to preserve the Houma Indian culture; a champion of preserving the wetlands; a nurse practitioner specializing in sickle cell cases; a teacher who has mastered keeping the attention of students and a Shreveport restaurateur expanding his family’s legacy. Plus, we will hear why one designee says of her calling, “This is where God wanted me to be.”
Episode 124: Smoked, Southern and Cajun - A Chef's Stories and Techniques
32:48Imagine three great cooking styles served in one place, or written about with recipes in one book. The place is Wayne Jacob’s Smokehouse in LaPlace (St. John the Baptist Parish); the book is "Southern and Smoked: Cajun Cooking through the Seasons." Jarred Zeringue, the chef and owner of the smokehouse and the author of the book, joins Louisiana Life Executive Editor Errol Laborde, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot to talk about the joys of smoked foods including meats common to the LaPlace area – like andouille and tasso. The book contains stories from his family, lots of recipes, a list of techniques for Cajun cooking and food photography that is a visual feast in itself. Also, he reveals some of the kitchen’s most only-in-Louisiana creations: smoked boudin and, yes, hogshead cheese, too.
Episode 123: The Heavenly Hash Centennial
38:29There are all sorts of anniversaries in life, however seldom is a milestone celebrated for a candy. But then there are few confections as worthy of special recognition as Heavenly Hash. This year is the centennial of Elmer Chocolate creating the Heavenly Hash Easter Egg. In 1923, the recipe was purchased from a New Orleans confectionary store. Prior to that purchase, the candy was generally sold in slices. The Elmer folks developed the technology to make Heavenly Hash in a chocolate egg-shaped covering. Robert Nelson, CEO of Elmer Chocolate, joins Louisiana Life Executive Editor Errol Laborde, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot, to talk about one of the world’s great candies, as well as Gold Bricks, Pecan Eggs and other Elmer’s products like chocolate packed valentine boxes. This is not a commercial but a culinary history combining chocolate, almond, pecans and skilled marketing. We'll also hear about the uproar when an expanding drug store chain decided one year not to carry Elmer’s products.
Episode 122: Cajun Country Carnival
38:06There are two principal ways of Carnival group ritual in Louisiana. One is the New Orleans style float parade with bands, marching groups and maskers flinging throws from floats. And the other is the Cajun style Courir de Mardi Gras in which mounted riders and runners go different places begging ingredient for a gumbo. Both have their own indigenous music and traditions. Dixie Poche joins Errol Laborde, executive editor of Louisiana Life, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot to talk about her new book "Cajun Mardi Gras: Chasing Chickens and Making Gumbo." Learn how different communities along the Cajun prairie have different costume elements including cone-shaped hats and masks made from screens. We'll also answer the question, which town is the epicenter of the Courir culture?
Episode 121: A Century Old, Yet Not a Has Bean
29:01A century ago, a New Orleans based company, founded by Lucius H. Hayward Jr., was in the business of purveying dried beans, most notably the red kidney shaped variety. The company would eventually trademark the name Camellia Brand Red Beans. The business flowered from there. At first the beans were scooped from a barrel at grocery stores, but then Gordon Hayward, the son of the company’s founder, had the idea to package the beans in cellophane bags. With that, red beans became an easily marketable item. Vince Hayward, great grandson of Lucius and CEO of Camellia Brands, joins Louisiana Life Executive Editor Errol Laborde, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot to talk about the evolution of the New Orleans classic everyman’s dish, red beans and rice. It is a fascinating story made spicier with slices of andouille, pickled meat and bay leaves for seasoning. Hayward also reveals his personal recipe including why he adds a chunk of butter.
Episode 120: Allons à Lafayette pour le bicentenaire
41:53It's funny... Lafayette doesn’t look a day over 150, yet the town is celebrating its 200th anniversary. The commemoration is based on the state issuing a charter, in 1823, to what was then known as Vermilionville. (In 1884, the name was changed to Lafayette to honor the French marquis who fought in the American revolution.) Sami Parbhoo, the Bicentennial Coordinator for the town’s celebration, joins Louisiana Life Executive Editor Errol Laborde, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot to talk about the area’s culture including history, music and of course, food. We will also hear why Lafayette is known as one of the nation’s happiest towns.
Episode 119: The Need for Beads
37:27Louisiana is the only state where beads are known to dangle from oak trees. That phenomenon is especially common in New Orleans where the trees along certain avenues are nurtured by Carnival floats passing beneath their limbs late each winter. Doug MacCash, a staff writer for the Times-Picayune/New Orleans Advocate, has written a book titled “Mardi Gras Beads” (LSU PRESS). He joins Louisiana Life Executive Editor Errol Laborde, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot to tell share low down on and explore the history of the bead business. We will also hear why New Orleans paradegoers were once so adept at spelling “Czechoslovakia."
Episode 118: Governors in History with Robert Mann
48:31There are four meaningful seasons in Louisiana: football, hurricane, Carnival and elections. All are important; two are fun. Robert Mann, holder of the Manship Chair in Journalism at LSU and a former staffer with Governor Kathleen Blanco and Senators John Breaux and Bennett Johnston, as well as once a newspaper reporter joins Errol Laborde, executive editor of Louisiana Life, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot for a riveting conversation about politics, especially gubernatorial history and elections Oh yes, we will also hear about the time Huey Long arranged for the LSU student body to watch the Tigers football team play Vanderbilt – in Nashville, by train.