There’s a lot of debate over whether a tomato is a fruit or a vegetable. But there’s no debating the fact Creole tomatoes are one of New Orleans’ favorite harvests. These vine-ripened tomatoes flourish in Louisiana’s alluvial soil, the nutrient-rich soil that is deposited by running water (in this case, the Mississippi River).

The French Market Creole Tomato Festival features four stages of live music and entertainment, plus plenty to eat! (Photo courtesy the French Market's Facebook page)

The French Market Creole Tomato Festival features four stages of live music and entertainment, plus plenty to eat! (Photo courtesy the French Market’s Facebook page)

When Creole tomatoes are at their ripest, as they are in the summer, the city can’t help but host a festival in their honor. Head to French Market for all things Creole tomato at the 31st annual French Market Creole Tomato Festival, June 10-11, 2017!

The French Market is a short walk from our hotel and gives visitors the chance to explore the country’s oldest public market (it opened in 1791) while also celebrating the delicious, super-sweet Creole tomato.

New Orleans celebrates a beloved harvest at the French Market Creole Tomato Festival, June 11-12, 2016. (Photo courtesy Kevin O'Mara)

New Orleans celebrates a beloved harvest at the French Market Creole Tomato Festival, June 10-11, 2017. (Photo courtesy Kevin O’Mara)

Things to Eat

Crab cakes, eggplant parmesan, crawfish beignets and many others get the tomato treatment as part of the Creole Tomato Festival. Favorite dishes from past years have included the Creole tomato, mozzarella, basil and bacon crepe from Crepes a la Carte, shrimp & Creole tomato ceviche from Superior Seafood and fried green tomato with a trio of sauces from Chartres House.

Things to Do

You’re not limited to food at Creole Tomato Festival. Cooking demonstrations from local and up-and-coming chefs, kids activities, tomato eating contests, and 4 stages of live music are typically part of the annual fest.

Enjoy the Baked Stuffed Creole Redfish with crabmeat and green tomato crust and Creole tomato jam from Criollo Restuarant, located inside Hotel Monteleone.

Enjoy the Baked Stuffed Creole Redfish with crabmeat and green tomato crust and Creole tomato jam from Criollo Restuarant, located inside Hotel Monteleone.

More Tomato Treats…

After the festival, head to Criollo for tomato-centric dishes like the Shrimp, Blue Crab, and Avocado Stack appetizer with spicy tomato coulis. For your main meal, try the Baked Stuffed Creole Redfish with crabmeat, green tomato crust, angel hair pasta and Creole tomato jam.

Does all this tomato talk have you craving a Bloody Mary? Head to the Carousel Bar!

Vine-ripened tomatoes headline @FrenchMktNOLA's Creole Tomato Fest #yum Click To Tweet