Unwrapping New Orleans

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The World Famous N’awlins Café and Spice Emporium on North Peters has a wide selection of culinary gifts.

Keala Rusher, Staff Reporter

With the holiday season fast approaching, the pressure is on for Tulane students to bring back unique gifts from New Orleans for family and friends while operating on a college student budget. This December is your chance to bring back authentic New Orleans-themed items to family and friends in California, New York or — way more likely — Chicago (looking at you Nutrier and Highland Park kids).

If you’re determined to make the trip down to the French Quarter between finals and your flight home to find the perfect gift, Marie Laveau’s House of Voodoo will make the $15 Uber worth it. At the small shop on Bourbon Street, you’ll find everything from classic voodoo dolls for protection and strength, money and success, and love and passion to elegantly painted porcelain skulls, all within a reasonable price range. Take care not to disturb the shrine to the spirits in the unconventional store to avoid a curse or two.

Another simple yet characteristic gift to consider is an assortment of Louisiana spices including, but certainly not limited to: Tabasco, Tony Chachere’s and Crystal. These seasonings are available at the majority of grocery stores, but The Arcade suggests taking a look at The World Famous N’awlins Café & Spice Emporium on North Peters Streets to bring the flavor of New Orleans back home.

If, like most students, you get stuck studying and packing in the days before your flight, The Arcade has scoped out the best gifts you can get at Louis Armstrong International Airport. Anyone who says airport gifts are insincere clearly wasn’t looking hard enough; Hudson Booksellers has a wide variety of items for purchase that go beyond what most people would expect from airport terminals, like a book called “Haunted New Orleans: Southern Spirits, Garden District Ghosts, and Vampire Venues” by Bonnye Stuart about the haunted locations in New Orleans that your parents will surely read cover-to-cover before carefully booking their next hotel. Even beignet mix is available at MSY as a fun and tasty present you can give to your family as both a physical gift and the gift of your presence in the beignet-making process.

For any potential gift receiver, you truly cannot go wrong with a Tulane shirt, a Saints jersey or any fleur-de-lis-shaped item. As the finishing touch for any and all presents, add some Mardi Gras beads and you have yourself a classic New Orleans gift.