Muriel’s And Mirlitons

I had lunch at Muriel’s in the Quarter — ordered the ‘stuffed mirliton with shrimp and andouille stuffing, baked and served with a roasted Creole tomato sauce.’  The restaurant was lovely inside and lunch was very nice:
Muriel's, French Quarter

This weekend is the Bywater Mirliton Festival — and a man in Houma grew a 5lb mirliton this summer:

O’Neil said all he uses in his garden, in terms of pesticide, is soap, Clorox and water.

“That kills 99 percent of bugs,” he said, “without killing you.”

(Dr. Lance) Hill runs a nonprofit, volunteer organization dedicated to promoting the conservation and uses of Louisiana heirloom mirlitons, as they are scientifically called.

Once a backyard staple in southern Louisiana, mirlitons were nearly destroyed by Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Gustav, Hill said.

Hill’s website,, seeks to restore mirlitons as a culturally significant backyard fare.

One thing to keep in mind is that so many mirlitons that the grocery stores sell are not from our region, but rather most likely from Costa Rica.  So if you have thoughts about just buying one at the store and letting it sprout in your garden, it probably isn’t going to do very well because of our different climate — and it won’t be a traditional variety of mirliton that we’re all accustomed to.  This coming late winter I’ll definitely start some in the garden (probably one as the vines are huge), hopefully from the adopt-a-mirliton program or a local nursery.  Planting instructions here.  I make stuffed mirlitons here at home, and while this isn’t my exact, this is a good recipe.

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