New Orleans is the headquarters of Who Dat Nation. What does that even mean? It means that New Orleans is home to the most die-hard Saints fans in the world. The Saints are New Orleans’ (American) football team. Their chant is: “Who dat? Who dat? Who dat say they gonna beat dem Saints?” If you are a fan of the Saints, you are a Who Dat. There is a Hamburg, Germany—New Orleans, Louisiana Connection. It doesn’t have to do with American football. It has to do with this and dat. Mostly, it has to do with Dat.
Hamburg…New Orleans…Hamburg…New Orleans…HAMBURG! …NEW ORLEANS!!!!
Talk like a local when you are in New Orleans. Being a Saints fan is like being a St. Pauli fan.
THE HAMBURG, GERMANY—NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA CONNECTION.
When people think of New Orleans, they think of the French connection. New Orleans was a French colony before it became a part of America. Creoles spoke French for a long, long time after Louisiana became a part of the United States.
Most people don’t know there was a large German immigrant community in Louisiana, especially around New Orleans. Just upriver on the Mississippi River, is what we call the German Coast. We can tell you how to get to the German-American Cultural Center across the river.
In Hamburg, they have Dat Backhus.
Out part of New Orleans, where La Belle Esplanade is located, is called “the back o’ town.” Everything is connected in one way or another. Who Dat? Who Dat? Dat Backhus. Dat Backhus is located all over Hamburg and it’s surrounding towns. Who Dat Nation is composed of anyone who loves the Saints. Our part of New Orleans has your back.
For our American readers, Dat Backhus is a chain of bakeries headquartered in Hamburg. Here is what the bread selection looks like in a typical Dat Backhus:
What Dat?? Dat’s a lotta good bread, that’s what it is!
As the proprietor of La Belle Esplanade, the #1 place to stay in New Orleans, I go out to our neighborhood bakeries every morning to pick up a loaf of bread to serve for breakfast. When we have Germans staying with us, I make sure to go to the bakeries that have the best bread. I’m not going to tell you what bakeries I like best here. Come stay with us when you visit New Orleans. One thing I can guarantee, among many other things, is that we’ll have good bread for breakfast. We have a high standard to meet. Frau Schmitt, who is the better half of this operation, is a native of Hamburg, Germany.
THE HAMBURG—NEW ORLEANS CONNECTION.
Frau Schmitt is from Hamburg, and she really is the better half of this operation. Me, I’m from Connecticut, U.S.A. We’ve lived in New Orleans for eight years now. We are adopted New Orleanians. There is a Connecticut-New Orleans connection and there is also a Hamburg, Germany—New Orleans, Louisiana connection.
Did you know you can buy Louisiana crawfish in Hamburg? It’s true. I took this picture in a Hamburg supermarket:
Gut und güstig. Flusskrebse. If you don’t speak German, now you know the German word for crawfish, a crustacean that is called crayfish where I come from. A crawfish is a miniature lobster native to Louisiana. Say it aloud. Flusskrebse. It’s as fun a word to say as crawfish are tasty to eat.
In crawfish season, here in New Orleans, we eat them with sweet corn and potatoes boiled all together in pots of spicy water at communal meals with our neighbors. It is common folk’s food. As I write this, there are people eating crawfish all over our neighborhood. As I write this, it is crawfish season. I am not eating crawfish tonight but, as I write this, I can smell boiled crawfish in the breeze. There is crawfish in the air. Welcome to the New Orleans State of Mind.
You can get Louisiana Crawfish at a Hamburg supermarket, but, guess what? I took a picture of the back fo the package. This photo is a bit blurry. I apologize for that. I was chuckling while I took it so the camera was shaking. Guess where this crawfish comes from….
Product of China!!!
Needless to say, when you’re in New Orleans, you won’t be getting Chinese crawfish. You’ll be getting the real deal, harvested straight from Louisiana waters. There is no better flusskrebse than the crawfish that come from Louisiana. We boil them and serve them by the pound.
There are strong German-New Orleans connections. The rest of Louisiana, not as much. If you are interested in learning how Germans put down roots in this unique city that is unlike anywhere else in the world, think about staying at La Belle Esplande while you are here. Visit New Orleans like a German New Orleanian.
The Deutsches Haus is rebuilding their headquarters at the end of our street. It isn’t open yet, but it will be soon. You will never know what you will find when you turn a corner in New Orleans. Our city is full of pleasant surprises. New Orleans is magical in English, en Français, and auk Deutsch. We live in a cosmopolitan dense and rich with culture and history. Come discover it for yourself in the #1 place to stay in New Orleans.
Have a great New Orleans day, wherever you may find yourself today!
–La Belle Esplanade
Monday, May 14, 2018: Frau Schmitt and I went to the movies today to catch a matinee:
P.S. Take some time to poke around our website. Read a few of our older blog posts. Welcome to the New Orleans State of Mind. We love New Orleans. You should love it when you’re here. Visit the real New Orleans and find out what it means to fall in love with New Orleans.