May-June-2017_flipbook Revised

the Coffee issue


Sua Da by Marcy, Rouses Creative Director

H ow a Louisiana version of coffee and chicory made its way onto Vietnamese menus all over the world is a great example of how immigrants absorb — and influence — local food and customs. Louisiana was first claimed by France in 1682, and though the French drank coffee their American counterparts preferred tea. That was true until the early 1770s, when the British levied outrageous taxes on tea imports and Samuel Adams and the Sons of Liberty threw 342 chests of tea into Boston Harbor. Drinking coffee suddenly became a patriotic duty.

By 1860 Louisiana belonged to the United States. New Orleans was one of its largest cities and took the title of the nation’s second- largest importer of coffee in the country. Coffee had become a large part of the city’s culture but a Union naval blockade in the American Civil War cut off the port of New Orleans and the area’s coffee supply quickly ran short. The French were familiar with coffee shortages, having endured their own during Napoleon’s Continental Blockade, and quickly passed along the use of chicory — a plant native to France — in coffee to New Orleans.



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