National Geographic : 2005 Nov
MAURICE, LOUISIANA An intentionally set stove fire helps safety special ist Chris Grossie, at right, teach a student how to tame a flame at Acadian Integrated Solutions. This private emergency training center caters to the nearby offshore oil industry, whose workers occasionally stop off in Maurice to buy holiday turduckens. Trahan, who used to be able to lead his men to a fire with no more instructions from the dispatcher than something like, "It's out behind Cat Broussard's house," told me that of the 25 or so families who have already moved into the subdivision, he knows only one. I wouldn't expect him to know a high percentage of City Bar cus tomers. In the morning the people sitting at the bar might be workers on their way home after a couple of weeks on an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico-City Bar is open from 8 a.m. to 2 a.m., except on Fridays and Saturdays, when it remains open until 3-but at night the crowd runs heavily to young people from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Gradually, from the mid-seventies to the mid-nineties, City Bar removed the cardrooms it used to keep for the older gents who would come in from the country on Wednesday nights and Saturday mornings to play booray, a card game much favored by Cajuns. Now it's a large room dom inated by beer signs and a couple of pool tables. City Bar still features the Cajun Bloody Mary as its most famous drink, but all I saw anyone drinking was light beer. Hebert's Specialty Meats remains Cajun enough that co-owner Junior Hebert cooks lunch for the staff and, in his other life, plays the accordion with a Cajun band called Junior Hebert and his Maurice Playboys. Although turduckens have brought it a lot of publicity, Hebert's still describes itself as "Home of Deboned Chicken." During the most recent Christmas week, Hebert's deboned and stuffed 7,500 chickens. People drove to Maurice from all over the area to acquire a bird that was stuffed with corn bread dressing, say, or shrimp and rice dressing, and was about as difficult to carve as a pound cake. The smart ones slowed down at the city limits. O CAJUN HOW-TO Get step-by-step instructions for mak ing a turducken at home and find other images, resources, and SLICE IT After four days of thawing in the fridge and five ing a turducken at home and find other images, resources, and hours in the oven, a turducken goes under the knife. field notes about Maurice, Louisiana, at ngm.com/0511.