Chicory Root is sometimes used as a coffee substitute or a coffee additive in many countries, even here in the U.S., particularly New Orleans. Actually, the first time I drank chicory coffee was last year while vacationing there. Located on Decatur Street is the Cafe du Monde, or as I like to think of it, my favorite place on earth. With a very limited menu of coffee and beignets, this place has managed to perfect both. The beignets are fried and covered in powdered sugar, and the coffee goes down so smooth with no trace of bitterness that I can't imagine a more perfect meal. I can only describe it as something similar to a near-death experience. Angels sang, a light shone down upon the coffee mug and I knew I had tasted heaven. And to make it even more perfect, they are open around the clock. beignets and cafe au lait at 3am? Yes, Please.
T. MICHELLE NELSON