By: Brittany Racca
Finding new and original souvenirs in each city you visit can become a challenge after seeing lots of destinations. While there’s nothing wrong with another snow globe or key chain, how about finding items that are unique to the area? This list will showcase some of the numerous souvenirs that you can buy when you visit Iberia Parish. (Author’s note: Cheesy puns not included with purchase.)
Top Souvenirs from Iberia Parish:
1. Haute Hot Sauce: As the home of TABASCO®, it only makes sense for you to pick up one of the variations of the pepper plant from the TABASCO® Country Store. Take it easy and relaxed with their “Sweet & Spicy” sauce, and turn up the heat with their “Habanero” flavor. Or, stick with the classics and pick up an “Original Red.” On the TABASCO® factory tour, you will receive free minis, but once you've tasted the heat, you won't be able to resist picking up one of their gallon jugs of hot sauce. Whatever the flavor, buying TABASCO® hot sauce right from the factory is a one-of-a-kind souvenir.
2. Rice Rice Baby: The Conrad Rice Mill has mass produced everything rice and spice related for more than 100 years. So, why not purchase some Konriko Creole Seasoning from the KONRIKO® Company Store/Conrad Rice Mill and add it to your stew to serve up with their Wild Pecan Rice for a meal that is truly Cajun. Free samples of their wild pecan rice and seasonings are available to try at the country store.
3. Book ‘em, Dave: For book lovers, Books Along the Teche offers a wide selection of novels, but the gem in this little shop is its James Lee Burke section. First-edition signed copies of the New Iberia author’s work are sold here. Burke is famous for his Detective Dave Robicheaux novels, which are set in and around Iberia Parish. How great would it be to show your friends and family you not only visited the sites in the novels, but bought a signed copy! Jealousy will ensue.
4. Weed ‘em and Reap: Flowers are not just for special occasions in New Iberia. At Jefferson Island Rip Van Winkle Gardens, you can purchase flowers like the ones you’ll see growing in the gardens. These beautiful souvenirs can brighten any home and will remind you of your time spent walking the grounds. How often do you have the opportunity to say you took home an actual piece of an attraction . . . legally, that is?
5. Servin’ it up: Shadows-on-the-Teche sells beautifully engraved fine china in its gift shop. This china will make the perfect dish to display your journey to the deep South. Maybe you will even serve up all of those Cajun recipes that you learned on your trip, which will really have all your friends and family craving to know your culinary secrets.
6. Sugar, Sugar: The great thing about this next souvenir is that it is free. The Jeanerette Museum offers a bag of raw sugar with a praline recipe to all its visitors. Another great souvenir from the museum are the wooden paddles made by a Jeanerette wood worker. The paddles are certainly unique and will be fun to show off back home.
7. Welcome to the Jungle: At Jungle Gardens of Avery Island, the perfect souvenir is photos of the beautiful and mysterious nature that surrounds you. If you don't want to be burdened with carrying a camera around to get those perfect shots, then "The History of Jungle Gardens" book is the souvenir for you. It not only has tons of photos of the acres of wonder, but history about each location as well.
8. "Shaken, Not Stirred": Iberia isn't just known for it scrumptious food. The city also knows how to mix up a clever cocktail that would make James Bond proud, which is why this collection of cocktail recipes from local residents titled "Teche Toddy Time" is a must-have (cover by artist Paul Schexnayder). What may come as a shock, is the place where you can purchase this hidden gem — the Bayou Teche Museum, which also sells other books and prints, and houses the history of New Iberia.
Iberia Parish is full of great finds when it comes to unique souvenirs, but the best thing you will be able to find here is something that has no price tag: memories. You, your family and your friends will have a ball when you travel to Iberia Parish and will make memories together that will last a lifetime. Iberia Parish is waiting. Are you ready to geaux?