Beignets, cafe’ au lait and chocolate milk. Staples in New Orleans. They’re found mainly at the Cafe’ du Monde coffeeshop in the French Quarter, located along the banks of the Mississippi River. It’s an outdoor seating area that’s open 24 hours a day, closing only for Christmas and the occasional hurricane. The place has been in operation since 1862.
Beignets (pronounced BEN-yays) are crispy fried squares of a yeasty donut dough topped with mounds of powdered sugar. You never wear black when you eat them, because you always wear some of the sugar home. Cafe’ au lait is steamed milk with a hit of hot, dark, french roasted coffee and chicory. In the summer, when it’s too hot to sit outside and drink coffee, it’s time for chocolate milk with your beignets. Maybe it’s an acquired taste, but every tourist and every local seems to love ’em.
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