On Our Plates: Mardi Gras, tequila and more

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By: Danielle Waldron
dwaldron@flavor574.com

Liza Lagman Sperl/Flickr

These next few days are the last ones to sneak in as much indulgence as possible before Mardi Gras on Tuesday, Feb. 17. On our plates this week are details about making the most of Fat Tuesday in northern Indiana, plus more. 

GET A TASTE OF THE BIG EASY IN NORTHERN INDIANA 

A taste of the Bayou might be just what the doctor ordered to warm up after another blast of winter in Michiana. Make the most of Fat Tuesday in Indiana and save room for gumbo, red beans and rice and tons more at a handful of restaurants that are serving up a taste of the south. 

Restaurants in southern Michigan, South Bend and even Elkhart are cooking cajun and will have live music in celebration of Mardi Gras. 

SAVOR PRE-LENT INDULGENCE WITH PACZKI

As it turns out, Paczki and jelly doughnuts are not made equal. Paczki (say it like “poonch-ky”) is Polish for “little package” and that’s exactly what it is — a dense, fried dough filled with fruit jellies or chocolate for the jet-setting, contemporary crowd. Make no mistake — Paczki is more dense than a doughnut. 

But why Mardi Gras? As history goes, Paczki were made to use up the remaining eggs, sugar and lard so as not to waste it before Lent arrived. It wasn’t always a sweet treat, though — Paczki used to be stuffed with pork fat and fried in more fat. 

There are plenty of places to grab Paczki in northern Indiana, but get them while they last. 

ARTISAN HOSTS 5-COURSE TASTING WITH TEQUILA PAIRINGS  

Folks who had to skip their Valentine’s Day plans because of a blizzard that ripped through the area on Saturday, Feb. 14, can make it up and Artisan has an option for you. It will have a tequila tasting and dinner at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 16. 

The menu will feature sea scallops with avocado and jicama relish, roasted corn chowder with crispy tortilla, pickled fresno chili and more — all specially paired with tequila or tequila drinks prepared by guest bartender Jason Bodley of Oak & Alley in Warsaw

The dinner is $75 and reservations can be made by calling 574-355-3355. 

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