Known as “Old Nugter’, yakamein’s a popular cure for the hangover — Photo by: Amanda Ruggeri
Op’n Sunday afternoon, the Street of the French was relatively quiet. The people are still asleep or have ended their brunch to dampen any side-effects of the previous night. A melody of jazz with accordion, clarinet and kituba – a benediction on the street. The boards of the colorful wood of the houses keer’n request with the brilliant blue of the sky.
But what mattered the most at that moment in New Orleans, the southern city of the United States, was a paper cup that I like. No, it was not the “hurricane” – one cocktail of rum very sweet that every tourist will drink it with a straw at least once during the site visit. It is the opposite: a mid-affectionately nicknamed “Old Sober”, said to cure the worst symptoms of the excess of the fun: the hangover.
In spite of the way I served, nie’n drink. It’s a soup – or something like it. More ofâ spaghetti as a sauce, this passage’s powerful and stimulating, with a insane mix of hot sauces of Sriracha, Crystal and Tabasco, and the addition of juicy cubes of alligator meat. On this last item, the resident Linda Green, better known as lady Linda, or the “Lady of the Yakamein”, explains it best: “He looks as evil character, but it’s a beautiful and delicious piece of meat”.
Yakamein (pronounced as “Yah-kah-mém’) is indispensable dish that, if you are not born and raised in New Orleans, definitely never heard of. But if it is proved with the same certainty, can no longer live without.
Yes, it looks easy to do at home – especially because the most common version uses beef, a useful alternative if you, like I, don’t have easy access to the crocodile (something that surprised the lady Linda when I told her). To prepare it, cooking leftovers meat (with extra point in the authenticity if it’s a grid prepared for family and friends on Sunday). Cook it with salt, black pepper and garlic powder. Place the spaghetti is cooked, pieces, soft meat, green chopped onion and a boiled egg in a small bowl or cup. Pour the sauce, stir and let the flavors mix. Add more hot sauce if you want.
But as with any dish super place, the yakamein almost does not make sense outside of New Orleans. And not just because it is both the answer and the antidote for the culture of the fun (and drinking non-stop) of the city. It is also because their flavors is indispensable because of the multiculturalism of the Big Easy, and the style of the take of it in the glass reflect the warm records of the city.
The status of the legendary dish also capitalize, in part, on the beliefs of the city in the black magic – as “Old Sober” is more as a name friendly.
“Sometimes, you know, you are of each other. But when it takes to the yakamein, believe it or not, your back to life,” says Linda. “My daughter goes out with her girlfriends and comes in the morning:” I need om’n yakamein. I has a yakamein’. And I have to go retrieve it.”
As the New Orleans yakamein’s a diverse and, therefore, its origin is difficult to investigate. “No one knows exactly where it came from,” said resident John Call, one of the many chefs that serve the yakamein, in this case in its sophisticated restaurant, Meauxbar.
They say that the dish would have originated in the years of the 1900’s when the chinese immigrants and african-americans blended homes, kitchen and ingredients. Still others believe that it was invented after the Second World War, or perhaps of the wars of Vietnam and Korea, where soldiers returned with memories of the noodle soup with a big touch.
Although it has international origins, little is known with the yakamein outside of the New Orleans – with the exception of die-hard foodies or fans of the TV program “Without Reservation” by chef Anthony Bourdain. Then I noticed that the writing ofâ article about the yakamein the residents of Baton Rouge, which is only 130 miles from New Orleans, they had no idea what he was talking about.
“Few visitors know. Some people, when they are foodies or are on New Orleans, specially to eat, you have heard, but do not know exactly what it is,” said John Call.
Affectionately known as the “Lady of the Yakamein’, Linda Green prepare the dish on the back ofâ pick-up in the event — Photo by: Amanda Ruggeri
What all agree on is that, regardless of who or when it started to be made, the yakamein came from the kitchen of the families and the streets of the city.
In addition to being prepared at home, the dish sold outside of jazz bars and to the side of the so-called “second line” – shows that bring people together to dance and sing and what came out of the obituaries, funeral.
This, combined with the records that take account of New Orleans, which also explains the etiquette to eat from the yakamein: the most authentic of enjoy it in a pack for the journey. Spoons are not only unnecessary as a stumbling block.
The version of the Call’s yakamein, served on Meauxbar, has its roots in the home. One of his cooks used to take him to lunch. Soon, she began to split it up informally with the team. Then, to prepare for the meals of the team. It was not long before the recipe got to the menu and one of the favorites of the customers.
The yakamein of Meauxbar is good: with the umami of the soy sauce, enough celery and a little Worcestershire sauce, it had more sauce than the average. (In part as a result of this, in part, because of the sophisticated atmosphere of the bistro, I gebruik’n spoon this time – or I try to).
But when I think of the yakamein New Orleans, the version of the wife Linda is the one that comes to my head. I am not alone. Linda is known for the distribution of thousands of cups of yakamein in the back of his pickup truck during the “second line”, on the French market, the jazz festival and Mardi Gras. (Hint: if you ask the lady Linda how many servings it sold in any of the jazz festival, do not do it with the mouth full).
“My God! Is very. Very. Perhaps more than 25 thousand?”, she said making me choke. She does everything: etouffee, gumbo, jambalaya and beignets. But the recipe that she learned from her mother, who in turn learned from her mother, it is the yakamein.
The original recipe from Linda use beef. But not only that. “I do jacaré. I do lobster. I do oysters. I do pig,” said Linda, who had already made yakamein sushi and chicken crispy and even Bloody Marys with the flavor of yakamein. There is also receive a version of vegetarian.
The complex and rich sauce Linda makes use of two special ingredients. The first may sound as a cliché marketing, but she believes so much in it that is difficult not to be convinced: “I has a lot of love in my cooking. Very much the same. Yes, I put in”. On the second (which she has the right track to be eintlik’n mixture of ingredients), recipes inherited from his mother and grandmother, she has sworn secrecy.
Whatever your trick, the result is obvious. “It is well,” confirmed Linda just after I had the first sip with a look ofâ happy surprise. “At times, enu take yakamein and wonder: “oh My God, what has it done? It is so beautiful, that did it!” Which, of course, was itself Beautiful.
During the conversation with Linda in the haskell Bakery – the only place where it is possible to regularly find your yakamein -you, the phone rings. “Hey, baby,” she said. “A yakamein? Ok. I’m busy now, dear. I’m busy now, but I’ll be home in an hour. Ask for someone to come pick you up, ok?”
“One of your children?”, I ask with a smile. “Oh, no,” said Linda. “I don’t know what it was.”
It happens all the time. People find the number of the Beautiful and call when in need of yakamein. She used to deliver them, but not more so. Now, the client is hungry you will catch up. And she will not ask you to pay. “Oh, Amanda,” he said. “It is my problem”.
The phone of the woman Linda play with more frequency on Sundays.
It turns out that the belief in the wonderful effects of the yakamein is more as act of faith. By’n konferensie’n few years ago, the scientist of food, Madagascar And Mitchell reported that, in fact, the yakamein can help genees’n hangover.
Eggs have cysteine, an amino acid that helps to remove the acetaldehyde (one of the toxic byproducts of alcohol). The meat fatty slows the absorption of alcohol, which makes the yakamein’n good choice before heading out for the night. The broth, the salt, recovery of the lost calories during the trip to the bathroom is caused by alcohol; and also encourages you to drink more water, the fight against dehydration.
“You can make a good example ofâ science intuitive: an effective means, with the scientific basis revealed net’n years later,” says Mitchell.
After the interview, I sat down to Bourbon street. It is not yet night, but the street has that feeling surrealmente immutable ofâ party that never ends: 17 hours, or up to 5h, there is light, neon and music. Some of the children african-american vreugde’n crowd, tapping ofâ beat electronics in the paint cans. A group of white women 20 and a few years down the street. An older couple walking with canes and beads of Mardi Gras rolled into the neck.
The evening is still young. The options are open. A jazz bar of’n happy hour with oysters? I don’t know yet, but one thing is sure: tomorrow I will kry’n yakamein.