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Of Omelets and Oysters in Abbeville

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  Given the way the food and the culture of south Louisiana get so entwined, making some time to get out of town and check out a food festival somewhere down the road is a rewarding way to explore the unique heritage of our region.

  Another event takes place Nov. 5-6 in Abbeville, one of the great eating towns of Acadiana. With a population of about 12,000 people, it's a small town with an historic core and an outsized culinary personality, one that will be in full bloom for the annual Giant Omelette Celebration.

  The festival culminates Sunday with a parade led by local notables clad in chef's whites. They march through downtown bearing wicker baskets full of some 5,000 eggs and endless lengths of French bread and then proceed to cook a colossal omelet on a 12-foot-wide skillet in the middle of the street. Portions are then divvied up and served to the crowd.

  Local caterers, restaurants and grocery stores offer a variety of foods as well. There are gumbo and boudin varieties galore, seafood pies and pastas, jambalaya and etouffee and festival favorites like the "fried eggplant volcano." For event details, visit www.giantomelette.org.

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