Stock Up: 3 things to remind you of New Orleans

If you’re looking to get into a New Orleans mood, try the quintessential Creole condiment, a cookbook or a Big Easy-style cocktail.

Italian olive salad

New Orleans is known for a lot of dishes, and one of our favorites is the muffuletta. This overstuffed sandwich — with layers of deli meats, such as salami and mortadella, and cheeses like provolone and Swiss — is nothing without olive salad. We’ve been enjoying the Italian olive salad from Boscoli Family. This New Orleans-based company has been making Creole Italian versions of olives, olive salads and pickled vegetables for more than 30 years. Its Italian olive salad is a mixture of green and black olives with giardiniera, capers, garlic and plenty of spices, packed in a mixture of canola and olive oil. The company also makes kalamata olive and jalapeno versions, and its Krewe olive salad is packed in pure olive oil. Of course, it’s perfect for that muffuletta, but we’ve been putting it in summertime pasta salads, chopping it finely and adding it to our homemade pimento cheese, and saving the oil for dressing cold vegetable salads. It’s an all-purpose player in our summer kitchen.

$7.99 per 16-ounce jar. Available at Kroger, Publix, Walmart and

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Credit: Handout

Credit: Handout

“Nana’s Creole Italian Table” book

When visitors to New Orleans go seeking Creole food, they tend to be looking for dishes such as gumbo, jambalaya and dirty rice. But, there’s a whole world of Italian Creole food, thanks to the Sicilian immigrants who settled in New Orleans in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Earlier this year, Elizabeth M. Williams, founder of New Orleans’ Southern Food and Beverage Museum, published “Nana’s Creole Italian Table” with the LSU Press. This beautiful cookbook includes family photos, as well as the story of her family’s road to New Orleans. And, it’s filled with recipes adapted to local ingredients, such as oysters and pasta, trout marinara and a fig and crab salad just right for the end of summer — and the height of fig season. The drinks chapter might be our favorite, with options ranging from iced coffee punch to kumquat-based citrus liqueur and ginger mint tea.

$29.95. Available at Barnes & Noble and

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Credit: Brian Cummings

Credit: Brian Cummings

Ready-to-drink hurricanes

Think New Orleans, and one of the first cocktails that comes to mind is the hurricane. This potent mixture of light and dark rums, triple sec, and pomegranate, pineapple and passion fruit juices is sweet, fruity and boozy — perfect for kicking off a celebration. We just sampled the hurricane from California-based Buzzbox, a version faithful to the one created at Pat O’Brien’s bar at a time when whiskey reportedly was hard to come by. No need to assemble six or more ingredients, just open the carton and pour. As you would expect, the Buzzbox hurricane was the hit of the party. It comes in lightweight, aseptic packaging, so it’s perfect for the beach, poolside or on a picnic. You’re on your own, if you want the traditional hurricane glass and a sliced orange and maraschino garnish. Each carton is 14 percent alcohol by volume.

$25.99 per eight-pack of 250-milliliter cartons. Available at

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