What is Lagniappe?
The word entered English from the Louisiana French adapting a Quechua word brought in to New Orleans by the Spanish creoles. It derived from the South American Spanish phrase la yapa or ñapa (referring to a free extra item, usually a very cheap one). The term has been traced back to the Quechua word yapay (‘to increase; to add’). In Andean markets it is still customary to ask for a yapa (translates as “a little extra”) when making a purchase. The seller usually responds by throwing in a little extra. Although this is an old custom, it is still widely practiced today in Louisiana. Street vendors, especially vegetable vendors, are expected to throw in a few green chillies or a small bunch of cilantro with a purchase.