The French first used chicory in their coffee during their Civil War, when coffee was scarce. The addition of chicory, the roasted root of the endive plant, not only made their coffee last longer, it also softened the coffee's bitterness and gave it a chocolaty flavor. The custom of blending coffee and chicory outlived the war and migrated to the area around Lafayette, Louisiana with the Acadians. Available at the world-famous Café du Monde in New Orleans since the 1860's, it is best enjoyed either black or "au lait" (half coffee and half steamed milk). Varieties sold separately.