On Tuesday night, President Trump hosted the first state dinner of his presidency, a soiree honoring conservative French president Emmanuel Macron and his wife, Brigitte. The meal began with a salad featuring young lettuce and biscuit “crumbles,” followed by a fancy rack of spring lamb and a side of New Orleanian jambalaya prepared with Carolina Gold rice.
The jambalaya was presumably a nod to America’s culinary ties to France. But dinner guests familiar with the Louisiana staple say authenticity appears not to have been the White House’s aim: They tell Bryn Stole, D.C. correspondent for the Baton Rouge Advocate, that the dish ended up being “just rice”:
Senior Louisiana senator Bill Cassidy, who was among the evening’s invitees, is apparently a Creole originalist first and a Republican second because he went on the record blasting the White House’s proteinless creation as essentially an insult to all southern-comfort-food-loving Americans:
“Rice pilaf!” Isn’t there, like, a line in the Louisiana Purchase Treaty forbidding that stuff in the South?