As a born and bred New Orleans-native, Louis Armstrong had such a love affair with rice and beans that he often concluded his handwritten letters with “Red Beans and Rice-ly Yours.” The phrase would also become the title of one of his final albums.
Armstrong lived out his final days in Corona, Queens, an NYC suburb tucked in the shadow of LaGuardia Airport. That’s where he was often tempted by Chinese food, a cornerstone of the New York food scene, and even released an ode to his love of the stuff called “Cornet Chop Suey.”
As a little boy, Armstrong was the hired help for a Jewish family who paid him in cash—and Jewish cuisine. He developed such a love of matzos that Armstrong’s wife, Lucille, always kept some in the cupboard. You can snack on the crackers or use the crumbs to make this matzo ball soup.
Who doesn’t love a good dip? The “Struttin’ with Some Barbecue” singer fancied himself Louisiana caviar, which is a mix of black-eyed peas, jalapeno and bell peppers splashed with Italian dressing. You can try a similar recipe from the Lone Star State.
Po’Boys are to Louisiana what pizza is to New York City, and Satchmo couldn’t resist the down-home street food. Po’ Boys are humble sandwiches, often a crusty French bread with fried seafood, like shrimp, crawfish, fish, oysters or crab. You can sink your teeth into this spicy recipe!
A filleted, buttery trout sprinkled with parsley and dotted with capers was also high on Armstrong’s list of favorite foods. While Chartres Street is located in the heart of New Orleans’ French Quarter, you don’t have to hop on a flight to try the dish. Just whip up this similar crispy baked tilapia.