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Wednesday, September 07, 2005 

Katrina didn't like Bananas Foster and Coffee

She blew down and waterlogged alot of the warehouses and ports that are used to store those and other food items. Get ready for some sticker shocks in the supermarket too....

New Orleans, one the nation's biggest coffee ports, holds about 8% of the world's supply, and coffee industry experts predicted that the loss of the tens of thousands of tons stored there would take a year to replace. Coffee contracts have risen 11% this week in New York trading.

"The market has decided that all of the 1.6 million bags stored in the New Orleans warehouses is dead meat," said commodities analyst Ann Prendergast of Refco Group.

Procter & Gamble Co., maker of Folgers, said half its supply was unaccounted for. - latimes

Chiquita Brands International Inc., one of the world's largest banana producers, said it suspended shipments because of damage to its facilities at Gulfport.

The company, which normally imports about a quarter of its Central American banana crop through the port, said it would divert those shipments to facilities in South Florida and Texas until its Mississippi facilities were repaired. - latimes

Louisiana oysters and other consumer goods that depend on busy Gulf Coast ports could be hurt by Hurricane Katrina, boosting prices.

Commodities and goods at risk include poultry, cotton and catfish in Mississippi and timber across the region.

..China and other countries could pick up the slack for shrimp because they're already big exporters to the USA. But if gulf oyster beds are damaged, "Prices would go sky high," says Bob Jones, executive director of the Southeastern Fisheries Association in Tallahassee, Fla.

Louisiana is the USA's top oyster producer, so no other supplier could immediately step in, he says. - usatoday

And of course, Nawhlins is known for it's restaurants. Sounds like some are aiming to come back the the Crescent City....

"New Orleans food is as delicious as the less criminal forms of sin."~ Mark Twain, 1884
Nearly 10 percent of the New Orleans labor force, about 55,000 people, worked in the city's estimated 3,400 restaurants.

.. "We have been instructed by the matriarchs that we will rebuild," Brad Brennan, of the family that owns the famed Commander's Palace and eight other restaurants, said from his office at Commander's Palace Las Vegas. "There was no hesitation."

The matriarchs are Brennan's aunt, Ella Brennan, and his mother, Dottie Brennan, who was evacuated to Houston, where the family also has a restaurant.

Brennan said it was too soon to know the extent of the damage, but all of the 800 employees of the Brennan restaurants were accounted for. - deseretnews

We fear that Bayona has severe damage. Commander's Palace has been partially destroyed. But no real news of the many others. Antoine's. Galatoire's. KPaul's. Brennan's. The Pelican Room. . But mark your calendars.... Restaurants across the county will stage a "Dine for America Day" on Oct. 5 to support the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. Information: www .dineforamerica.org (beginning Thursday)

You can always try to cook up some memories on your own.

I read somewhere that Galatoire's was unscathed, right down to the lace curtains.
I'm a New Orleanian--just got back to my assignment in Chicago before the storm changed things.
My grandfather was a coffee taster for the New Orleans coffee exchange. He would have known those warehouses.

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