A Creole Holiday Tradition

Reveillon Dinner and Turtle Soup

In the south, the French Creole had a holiday tradition of the Reveillon dinner.  After midnight Mass, the Reveillon dinner was served.  Though many traditions have faded, the author remembers her great Aunt's memory of the featured dish, Daube Glace.  She described a "good filet of beef, or during lean years an eye of the round, braised in red wine and spices, but still medium-rare, with lots of thinly sliced carrots, parsley, and green onion with natural jus with a touch of vinegar reduced and chilled into an aspic."

A traditional Reveillon menu had "Daube Glace or veal grillades, egg dishes, breads, and puddings, and would often include turtle soup and oysters."  Many New Orleans restaurants are reviving the tradition to bring many visitors to the city.  "Chef Joanne Clevenger at Upperline has a menu for the season with turtle soup, their famous fried green tomatoes with shrimp Remoulade, veal grillades, creme brulee. The Grill Room...Antoine's, Galatoire's, and Brennan's all have special menus."  I'm excited to see how an almost extinct holiday tradition is reappearing to fortify this city.

This is part of my series on food and holiday traditions.  You can also read about Christmas dessert traditions around the globe, my perfect Swedish Christmas Table, as well as a story of a family that makes 1,000 handmade ravioli for Christmas.

Read more about the Reveillon tradition here.