This was the scene at the storied 99-year-old Italian-Creole restaurant Pascal’s Manale in New Orleans. Three of us – my sister, my boyfriend and I – shimmied over to the famous oyster bar for half-shell starter. We got more than that. Yes, we got a history and vocabulary lesson, too. And a little lagniappe.
Lagniappe (“LAN-yap”). Noun : a small gift given a customer by a merchant at the time of a purchase; broadly: something given or obtained gratuitously or by way of good measure
Usage. Example 1: “The hotel threw in some free shampoo as a lagniappe.” Example 2: “The meal was served with a lagniappe of freshly made cornbread.”
Origin of lagniappe: American French, from American Spanish la nãpa, from Quechua (Native American) yapa, something added.
– Merriam Webster American Dictionary online
Because I want my readers to be extremely clever and witty, I thought I’d share this little nugget of cultural history. Use it today and impress someone!
And if you’re in New Orleans, I highly recommend Pascale’s Manale. In addition to a fantastic oyster bar, they have great classic drinks (my bloody mary was killer!), barbecued shrimp and lots of other great traditional NOLA dishes.
Pascale’s Manale – 1838 Napoleon Avenue, uptown New Orleans, LA 70115; phone 504-895-4877; urbanspoon.com, opentable.com