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Sunday, April 8, 2012

Misissippi to Texas

Welcome to Breaux Bridge, Lousiana!










Man have I MISSED y'all! Your Gypsy Gourmet has been travelling solo. Yes, my friends, I have the same kinds of relationship ups and downs as everyone else. Instead of bemoaning my fate, or getting terribly involved in my sad story, I just simply got back to work doing what I love. I have been all over the place lately, Missouri, Kansas, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, just to name a few. On this trip just a couple of days ago I started out in Mobile, AL and was headed to Lancaster, TX. To my delight, I found another gem nestled in the midst of obscurity in Breaux Bridge, LA. I've probably butchered the name of both their fair city and the lovely family run market I stumbled across, Foti's. How about a paradise for the eyes! The moment I hit the door I was engulfed in wonerful smells. Fresh bananas, ripe plums, the briney scent of shrimp, and wiggling crawfish. It was a sight to behold.

Floyd Foti reminds me of one of my uncles. Tireless, constantly moving, and all about this small business that he's run strong for almost twenty-five years. I was met with a little skepticism, as to whether or not I'd have a film crew traipsing all over his market, but once we cleared it up that'd it'd just be me, he opened up about the business that he so obviously loves. He get a sparkle in his eyes as he talks about his family, and the new expansion he's in the midst of. Mr. Floyd seems confident about the small restaurant expansion now that his kids aren't little anymore and can help with the extra business it'll create.

I was greeted soon after by Floyd's niece, Melissa, who was patient and sweet as I marvelled over all the goods in front of me. It was seriously like the clouds parted and angels sang, with all the variety and abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables to choose from. Sweet potatoes, sweet onions, lemons, vine ripe tomatoes, fresh garlic cloves, ginger root, and locally grown Satsumsa oranges distract me as people flow in and out in a constant steady stream. Folks buying everything from locally harvested Gulf shrimp, sacks of crawfish still wiggling, and myriad vegetables and spices to boil their dinners. I got a tour of the back room from Mr. Mike, as he showed me the process of sorting, boiling, and refrigerating the crawfish that they sell by the pound already cooked.





After I had my tour of the back room I was shown the restaurant expansion that's well underway. Mr. Floyd explained that they had been making boiled seafood to go for many years, but while his childern were little it was impossible to tackle a sit down atmosphere, as you can only spread yourself so far. This statement hit awfully close to home as I remembered the many 12-15 hour days at my family's restaurant and resort. Now that everyone's grown and able to help with the extra business it creates he's expanding to fried and boiled seafood that's served in a comfortable functional dine in nook.
Floyd seems confident they can handle it now, and I have no doubt they"ll be "The" spot to bring family and friends for dinner. I wish him and his family the best of luck in their new endeavor, and know I'll certainly be back!


These are the shrimp I purchased...You've all seen my shrimp stir frys and this one was no different, few friends, few laughs, and a stunning reminder of local flavor wherever you are. So remember folks, until we meet again, eat well, laugh often, and travel America's highways safely. Support your local growers, farmers markets, co-ops, and small businesses! They're a dying breed and we need to keep them alive for generations to come.

gypsy gourmet

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