The recipe seems simple enough – ground beef and pork, browned, flavored with seasoning vegetables, black and red pepper for a nice kick, enclosed in a flaky crust. But, judging by its popularity throughout Louisiana and beyond, the Natchitoches Meat Pie clearly achieves something more than the sum of its parts.
The humble, savory pie is certainly tasty enough to draw visitors from around the globe to the central Louisiana town of Natchitoches to sample the meat pie – where it was invented and has been a beloved part of the local culture since the late 1700s.
If you’ve never tasted an authentic Natchitoches Meat Pie, you’d be wise to get yourself to Natchitoches (once declared the “Best Little Town in the Whole U.S.A.” by Oprah Winfrey) for the town’s annual Meat Pie Festival. And don’t forget to bring along your favorite TABASCO® Sauce flavor to accompany all of the meat pies you’ll be consuming.
Each year, meat pie devotees and fans of a good time converge on the riverfront in historic downtown Natchitoches for three days of live music, rides, shopping among booths manned by local artisans, and a variety of delicious food items, namely the famous Natchitoches Meat Pie. The athletically inclined may consider participating in the Meat Pie Tri, a sprint triathlon consisting of the standard swim-bike-run. Upon finishing, racers receive a not-so-standard reward – a cold beer and a hot meat pie.
One of the stars of the festival is the National Landmark Historic District where it takes place. Downtown Natchitoches and the surrounding neighborhood is quintessential small town America, with interesting shops, beautiful old homes, trolley and boat rides, museums and art galleries, historic cemeteries, bed and breakfasts, popular restaurants and much more.
For more information, visit www.meatpiefestival.com.