Cafe du Monde
The Café Du Monde Coffee Stand, more popular as the Café Du Monde, is a living, breathing, and constantly brewing piece of history that stands in the French New Market in New Orleans. In fact, it has been there since 1862! The building in which the café is housed itself is a piece of history—named The Butcher’s Hall, it was constructed on the site of the very first French Market building built by the Spanish in 1771 and subsequently damaged by a hurricane in 1812. However, that is just a name because the menu at Café Du Monde, which has changed very little since inception, is all sugary sweet and delightfully frothy.
The stalwarts of Café Du Monde’s menu are the beignets and café au lait. The former is a type of French doughnut, only that it is square, has no hole, and is doused liberally with powdered sugar, while the latter is the café’s own take on the conventional preparation of half milk added to the mix—coffee blended with chicory. The tradition dates back to the days of the Civil War when coffee was scarce and the people of New Orleans experimented with substances like peanuts and pecan shells to make their supplies last. Chicory survived the test of the taste buds and time too, and Café Du Monde still upholds the tradition.
Since 1942, the Café Du Monde has been owned and is being run by one family. Hubert Fernandez bought the Café Du Monde Coffee Stand from Fred Koeniger in 1942. Today, the third generation of the family is running the café. Café Du Monde has been operating from the same location since inception and has changed its menu last in 1988 but only to include frozen café au lait, iced coffee, and soft drinks. This eating joint has not only made its way into the gastronomic culture of New Orleans but is also a part of the city’s eclectic history.|