Glossary O-Z
Written by John Keife

Oyster Liquor or Liquid
The liquid inside the shell of a fresh oyster.

Pain Perdu (pahn per-doo’)
French for lost bread; sliced bread soaked in milk, eggs and sugar, then browned in an oiled skillet or griddle. It is known as French toast in other parts of the United States.

Parish
Adopted from the French founding and occupation of Louisiana. It is the political geographical unit equivalent to counties in other states; also a religious geographical division.

Parrain (pah-reh’)
French for godfather. The assigned alternate father at a child’s Christening.

Pickled Pork
Pork marinated in vinegar. Available primarily in Louisiana. Made by marinating chunks of fresh pork or pork ribs in vinegar overnight.

Pirogue (pee’-rog)
Flat-bottomed boat or dugout boat used for trapping, hunting, and fishing. Because of its shape and construction it draughts very little water and is therefore able to navigate many of Louisiana’s shallow bayous, canals, and marshes.

Po-Boy
Also Poor Boy. A sandwich that began as a five-cent lunch for poor young men of New Orleans. Made with French bread, po-boys can be stuffed with fried oysters, shrimp, fish, crawfish, meatballs, smoked sausage and just about anything you care.

Praline (prah-leen’)
A candy patty made of sugar, cream, and nuts, usually pecans.

Radeau (ra-dough’)
A flat-bottomed boat used to transport freight or agricultural products from farm to market. It was most often found floating along the Mississippi River, across Lake Pontchartrain or local bayous. Push poles (in shallow waters) or ropes attached to mules along the bank provided the power.

Red Beans and Rice
The traditional Monday meal in New Orleans. Why Monday? Monday was often “wash day” in New Orleans. Without electrical power and appliances of today, it was often an all day chore. Red beans were the dish of choice for most households since once assembled over heat, will cook, unattended, the entire day. Ham or sausage were often used for flavoring. Beans are cooked into a very soft, mushy texture which adds a delicious thick flavor to the New Orleans style dish. Always served over steamed rice.

Remolaude (rahm’-a-laud)
A spicy brown mustard-based, lemony sauce served with cold boiled seafood, especially shrimp.

Roux [roo]
Many Louisiana recipes begin with this mixture of oil and flour heated slowly until it reaches the desired brown color. Used as the base for most gumbos and stews.

Sac-a’-lait (sack’-a-lay)
The South Louisiana term for the crappe; a freshwater fish often found at a Cajun dinner table

Sauce Piquante (sauce pee-caunt’)
A thick tomato-based sauce highly seasoned with herbs and peppers; it begins with a roux; redfish and chicken are most often found in a sauce piquante.

Savoir-Faire (sav-wah-fair’)
A knowledge of what to do and say, tact.

Tabasco
A delicious hot red sauce made from hot ground peppers, fermented and mixed with vinegar. Made in Avery Island, Louisiana and distributed world wide.

Tasso
A ham used for seasoning. It is heavily cured, then smoked with a large quantity of seasoning giving a distinctive flavor. Because of its smoky, peppery flavor, it should be used sparingly.

Vichyssoise (vish-e-swah’)
A thick cream soup of potatoes and onions usually served cold.

Vieux Carre (voo ca-ray’)
French for “old quarter” and referring to the French Quarter.

Voodoo
A collection of superstitions and “black magic” practiced by blacks and Acadians.

Yam
An orange, fleshy, and moist variety of sweet potato. Used commonly through Louisiana and the South.

Zydeco
Cajun dance music that is a combination of traditional Cajun music, rhythm and blues, and African blues.