Mardi Gras—which means 'Fat Tuesday' in French, and refers to the gluttony and late night debauchery that happens on the eve of Lent— is today. As New Orleans-based chef John Besh says, for locals, the day is an excuse to have "a family celebration. It's more about big, one-pot meals you can get on the parade route... it's about bringing generations together."
Click through the gallery to see which classic NOLA dishes chefs are hawking across the country—from Crawfish Etouffee and Fried-Catfish Po' Boys, to Jambalaya and traditional King Cake. If you'd rather ditch the nice meal idea, and instead don a feathery mask and act sketchy, we won't judge. That's what Catholic guilt is for. [The Feast]