I’d never read a southern gothic tale till after a visit to Abbeville, Louisiana. 150 miles East of New Orleans Abbeville is the “seat” of Vermillion Parish. The concept of a “Parish” was new to me as well prior to the visit but it was explained to me that its essentially what we in the rest of the country call a County. This is the heart of Cajun country, but to me, it’s where Cthulu lives, its where the king in yellow rules over Carcosa.
The downtown is very much what most folks would consider a “main street”. Warm and friendly people say ‘hello’ as you pass by strolling aimlessly. On one of these strolls we wandered in to place known locally as CC’s however the sign on the awning says Comeaux’s Cafe. The beignet’s were outstanding and had I not had Cafe Du Monde’s a few day’s earlier I would’ve said they were the best I’ve ever had.
Well worth a visit is the Mary Magdalen Church and the neighboring Cemetery.
Abbeville also produces cane syrup locally and the Steen’s mill in town has been going since 1910.
Not to be missed are local Oyster’s at Dupuy’s where the oyster’s are from local water’s and have a cleaner, more earthy flavor than what you’d get in a restaurant in New Orleans. Also, get yourself one of their bloody mary’s while you’re there.
We were lucky in our visit as we stayed with local’s. A friend of our’s has family that lives right by the center of town. They were nice enough to take us out to their farm, a sprawling 100 acres of farmland where rice fields and crawfish are harvested seasonally. We learned quite a bit about the season for hand-harvesting crawfish and how it is done. Prior to this trip, we had no idea there was a specific season, February through March, for harvesting crawfish. Needelss to say, the trip to the farm was beautiful and a real treat! Below is a crawfish trap.
One of the highlights of our stay was the extravagant meal that was prepared for us the first night- a handful of cajun specialties: dirty rice, etouffee, maque choux, and turducken. Turducken! I could hardly contain my excitement at finally having the opportunity to try this dish. Turkey, duck, and chicken all rolled into one bundle complete with stuffing and slow roasted to perfection. It was such a decadent feast and I will forever remember that wonderful meal and our gracious hosts.