Locals List the Items in Their Fridge and Freezer They Had To Part With Due to Ida That Stung a Little More

Looting Fridge” by Infrogmation is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Here in Southeast Louisiana, we take our food seriously. We’re hunters, We’re fishers. We’re cooks. Nothing says love like a homemade Louisiana meal that comes from the kitchen. Whether it’s a gumbo, a stock, some game meat, or bone broth, in Louisiana food just means something different. 

On top of that we are, admittedly, food collectors. Louisiana freezers are always packed with the good stuff—something to save for later or share when family comes over to visit. Something from out of town or that last vacation. When we visit a new place, we always seek out the good food, and we can’t wait to bring a taste of it back home. 

I think Southeast Louisiana folks are some of the only people in the world who have holiday food packed in the freezer in June.

Hurricane Ida took a lot from us. It took many of our homes and our sense of security. For many, it took the food that we had in our refrigerators that meant so much to us. Food is our connection to family, friends, and those we love. It’s our connection to normalcy. 

I knew that a lot of people lost some amazing food to Ida, so I posed a question in the Facebook group, “Where NOLA Eats”: “What food did you lose during the storm that broke your heart? Maybe it was something you hunted. Maybe it was some animal fat. I’ve seen a few people mention bone broth. Since our fridges are bare, what are you eager to restock?”

Here are some of the over 165 responses—

“Stuffed crawfish heads I had made for bisque.”- Maria Zuppardo Noya

“Andouille from Bailey’s. I hope they can get reopened soon. It’s almost gumbo season.”- John Plauché

“I lost Some gator and the last of my deer roast it bothered me ‘cause it’s not like I can just go to the store and get it”- Joseph Merritt

“I had a bunch of the little Caluda’s king cakes to give out to friends and family as they visited throughout the year. Luckily we found lots of linemen around and shared with them! Most had never seen a king cake. Ready to restock those.”- Lyn Strickland

“Some spicy boudin from Lake Charles in my freezer. Had to toss out about 50 pattie of bo hue and pho burger as well.”- Wong Ng

“Duck fat, dove stuff breast and some crawfish, Myer lemon juice, and some Guatemalan Peaches.”- Gina Andre

“I had two legs of lamb. Everything else I could cope with but I’m talking WHOLE legs for making roasts or a yummy lamb shank for fall. That and also all my seafood shells/scraps to make stock with.”- Chi Che

“Some food my mom cooked for me that I brought from GA. We tried eating some of it after we lost power but couldn’t get through it all. Now I’ll just be greedy and eat it immediately next time.”- Jessica Curry Redmond

“5 packs of frozen crawfish tails (with fat) 4 pounds of grass fed beef, and a pork rib roast just purchased. Oh, and 10 pounds of sliced peaches that I just peeled, sliced and froze.”- CJ Black

“I had a few quarts of broth that I was very sad to toss. The worst part was it actually still smelled good as I was pouring it down the drain. One was a ramen broth which I don’t make often, but it had turned out really well and I kept being excited that it was there in the back of my freezer for a day when I needed it.”- Niki Sideris

“Lost stocks, crawfish tails and crawfish heads that I cleaned, lemon juice and satsuma juice, lap cheong, frozen strawberries and blueberries. It would have been much worse, but I had been cooking from the freezer for a while because it’s hurricane season.”- Denise Broussard Sassone

“The saddest I was when emptying my fridge was throwing away all the broth / stocks out of my freezer. Chicken bone broth BBQ shrimp shell stocks Crawfish boil shell stocks.”- Jack B. Nola

“Over $300 of cheese.”- Jennifer Huber

“Homemade sockeye lox. Every year I go fishing in Alaska and cold smoke my own salmon… best you’ll ever eat, gone.”- Don Gallo

These responses just scratched the surface. Other people mentioned bagels, cheesecake from New York, cheese curds from Wisconsin, tortillas from California, and Lau Lau shipped from Waipahu.

In the big picture, the loss of this food is minor, but it’s still heartbreaking for a community where loss seems to be a regular occurrence. One thing you can be sure of is that Louisiana kitchens might be down, but they are not out. If I know our people, they will be stocking up again in no time.

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