Cooking Louisiana  -  Vegetable Information
The South Louisiana kitchen always gets to see a wealth of vegetables and most of them fresh from the garden.

Vegetables in the South are abundant because of the climate which supports a nice growing season. There is actually enough of a growing season to get two seasons of growing in one year for some crops. After the first frost you'll likely see tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplant, cushaw and snap beans. Then, as the summer comes okra, peas, and lima beans. Finally the fall gives us cabbage, mustard, turnip and collard greens. In no way are these all of the vegetables grown, there are many others.

A South Louisiana specialty is the mirliton (pronounced me-lay-taw if you live in the country and mirl-uh-tahn if you live in the city). The plant is a vine variety and the growing of that plant has absorbed many an hour of gardeners conversation, it's not that easy. Steal a man's mirlitons from his vines and you just as soon shoot his huntin' dog! Read more.

Handling vegetables is no way near as complicated as meats. Keeping them cool and washing thoroughly is about all you have to do. Wash them well and cut away bruised areas as they may contain bacteria that is harmful. Wash, wash, wash! Here's more info from the FDA...

Always remember to keep vegetables that are to be eaten fresh away from any meat juices as they can become cross contaminated with harmful bacteria.