The term "chicory coffee" conjures romantic images of leisurely breakfasts in New Orleans, munching beignets and sipping from a steaming mug while the lazy strains of jazzy trumpets float through the air. But what the heck is it, and is it actually good, or just a French Quarter daydream? Let's get down to the root of the root that makes this chicory coffee thing.
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Ah, New Orleans. It's safe to say that no U.S. city—at the very least, of its size—crams in quite so much deliciousness. From boiled crawfish at seafood shacks to oysters on the half-shell in jacket-required dining rooms, from adventurous chefs to century-old sandwich establishments, eating in New Orleans is an unparalleled delight. And if there's a bit of guilt that accompanies all that butter and roux, it should be assuaged by the knowledge that eating in New Orleans these days is essentially an act of civic service.