While I used to be a difficult, picky eater, I am now on a food adventure to expand my tastes and challenge my particular palate. Read the first feature in this series, where we ventured to Dim Sum for stewed chicken feet.
This week’s adventure brought us to Blue Corn Tequila & Tacos for cactus, otherwise known as nopales.
It’s the edible pad of a cactus plant. As the nopales are cooked, they grow darker in color while the liquid inside evaporates. At Blue Corn, they are served as a side dish available with a variety of entrees.
Blue Corn opened in Ichiban Square in October 2018, and is already proving to be one of the most exciting new restaurants in Baton Rouge. Its modern spin on authentic Mexican cuisine offers a refreshing break from the usual Tex-Mex fare. On top of that, the restaurant’s artsy decor, menu and style are all done in uplifting shades of gold and blue.
I walked in for an early Thursday evening dinner, and the place was fairly busy. I opted to sit on the patio. I usually refrain from outside eating because of the Louisiana heat, but a good combination of pre-Barry weather and a nice breeze made it a little more appealing.
Blue Corn’s nopales are sauteed with dried guajillo peppers, onions, chili and cilantro. I ordered them as a side to go along with two tacos and a sizable margarita.
In my pre-dinner research on traditional nopales dishes, I read that sometimes the dish can be too slimy or tart for certain taste buds. I’m a fan of tart foods, but weird textures really freak me out. But I found nothing slimy or off-putting about this dish—the texture was really similar to cooked green beans.
The guajillo peppers are the true star, though, making for a spicy-but-not-too-spicy flavor to contrast with Blue Corn’s delicious entrees.
Blue Corn is at 7673 Perkins Road.
Other cactus-y items to try around Baton Rouge
• If you’re up for a cooking adventure, you can get the ingredients to make your own nopales from the Latin American grocery store La Morenita on Florida Boulevard.
• Not too sure about eating a cactus yet but willing to try it in a drink? Head to Roux 61 for the restaurant’s Prickly Pear Margarita, made with a syrup from prickly pear cacti.
This is a series of stories on unusual—but tasty—foods you can order around Baton Rouge. Know of something we should try? Let us know in the comments!