Calas (food)

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Calas are deep fried rice cakes, made with sugar, flour, eggs and rice. It was a popular breakfast food in New Orleans in the early 20th century, and has a mention in most Creole cuisine cookbooks. They are delicious either for breakfast with jam, or at teatime served like scones with jam and cream. If they are made with salt and pepper instead of sugar, calas go well with bacon and eggs.[1] Calas are also perfect served as a dessert or snack put together nicely with coffee.[2]


The history of calas is very similar to many other traditional New Orleans food, coming from both African and European heritage.[3]The name "calas" is said to have come from the African Nupe word "kara", or fried cake.[4] According to "The Dictionary of American Food & Drink," the word Calas was first printed in 1880. Creole street vendors sold the fresh hot calas in the city's French Quarter, with the familiar cry, "Calas, bels calas tout chauds!" (Creole for "Calas, beaux calas tout chauds," in standard French) (meaning : Calas, beautiful calas, still hot"). The street vendors were often called "Calas Women." These women would sell their pastries in covered baskets or bowls during the early morning in the French Quarter. Calas are also referred to as Creole rice fritters or rice doughnuts. Modern day Beignets have since replaced the Creole rice fritters in most areas of New Orleans, but calas can still be made to order in some restaurants.[1][4] [1] [2]


  1. ^ a b Owen, S. The Rice Book. New York: St. Martin's, 1993. N. pag. Print. p.334 ISBN 0-312-14132-7
  2. ^ "The Famous Creole "Calas"". Retrieved 2012-04-06. 
  3. ^ "Calas". Retrieved 2012-04-06. 
  4. ^ a b "What is a Calas?". Retrieved 2012-04-06.