Whether or not you have ever been to a Mardi Gras celebration in New Orleans, you’ve surely heard the tales of wild partying in the streets, outlandish costumes, and the acquisition of those famous beads. Mardi Gras — the name means “Fat Tuesday” — always takes place on the day before Ash Wednesday.
If you’re not heading south, you can still plan a humdinger of a Mardi Gras celebration right here. While we don’t recommend parading down Poughkeepsie’s Main Street in scanty attire (at least not until it’s a bit warmer), we do suggest that you pay tribute to N’awlins by preparing some of these mouthwatering Cajun and creole favorites, courtesy of the Culinary Institute of America.
Photographs by Ben Fink/CIA.