A new exhibit about the history of Red Beans in New Orleans debuts at the SoFAB Museum

The Southern Food & Beverage Museum is the new home of “Red Bean City,” an exciting exhibit on the history red beans in New Orleans by Camellia Brand that opened on August 3, 2017.

Red Bean City, an exhibit by Camellia Brand

The ongoing romance of New Orleans and red beans is a story now being told! The Red Bean City exhibit at the Southern Food & Beverage Museum, explores how and why this beloved dish is an unstoppable weekly ritual and a symbol of local culture and way of life in New Orleans. The Hayward family of Camellia Beans tells their story going all the way back to 1836, and you’ll get a look at how a New Orleans trumpet player, a small army of creole cooks, a chicken king’s secret chef, and the people of New Orleans helped propel the red kidney bean to worldwide acclaim.

Camellia Red Bean City Exhibit- LH Hayward Company Timeline

Red Bean Kitchen

In the exhibit, take a seat in the “kitchen” and soak in the feeling of warm, happy family gatherings then and now. Can’t you just smell the red beans simmering on the stove? Post your family’s red bean recipe secrets (Mawmaw won’t mind, right?) on the Red Bean Secrets wall – you’ll be in good company there among Red Bean Hall of Famers like New Orleans jazz hero Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong (who signed his letters “red beans and ricely yours”) and red bean restaurateurs Willie Mae Sutton, Buster Holmes and Warren Leruth.

Bean Culture Worldwide

Beans and Rice are celebrated dishes all over the Americas and the Caribbean and are closely related to the cultural identity of each region. The exhibit takes a tour through some of the most beloved beans and rice traditions around the world and traces the migration of this food pairing from Africa and Europe.

Join the Red Bean Parade  

Ever heard of the Krewe of Red Beans? Their famous red bean parade marches the streets of New Orleans every year at Mardi Gras, but year-round at the Red Bean City exhibit you can put on one of the Krewe’s spectacular handmade bean costumes and snap a “parade” selfie.

Red Bean City Exhibit - Join the Red Bean parade

National Culinary Register

The Hayward family of Camellia Brand Beans is also celebrating another great honor: Camellia Brand is now on the National Culinary Register! The Register is an expansive list of culinary products, processes, inventions, traditions, and establishments that are at least fifty years old and have contributed significantly to the development of American foodways. The first and only register of its kind, the Culinary Heritage Register is an initiative designed to explore and preserve the complex history of food and beverage in America.

Vince Hayward and Liz Williams