Louisiana plantations in the second half of the 19th century were very much in a self-sufficient economy.  Since it took at least a week either by horse and buggy carriage along the river road, or more commonly by steamboat, to get to and from the market, they had to grow their own goods and suffice to their own needs.   A flamboyant Creole plantation owner, Valcour Aimé, once boasted that he could invite a French dignitary to his grandiose plantation close to Vacherie, Louisiana and treat him to a 12 course meal and feast worthy of the royal French court using only foods and goods and venison from his own plantation at 'Le petit Versailles.'  And he did!  This is how they kept perishable foods in plantation pantries in those days. These 'Amphoras' or giant clay jars were buried in the ground with only the top neck sticking out in order to keep perishables insulated and as cool as possible in the semi-tropical climate we enjoy around New Orleans.