New Orleans Cuisine: Fourteen Signature Dishes and Their Histories

New Orleans Cuisine: Fourteen Signature Dishes and Their Histories

by Susan Tucker
     
 

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With contributions from Karen Leathem, Patricia Kennedy Livingston, Michael Mizell-Nelson, Cynthia LeJeune Nobles, Sharon Stallworth Nossiter, Sara Roahen, and Susan Tucker

New Orleans Cuisine: Fourteen Signature Dishes and Their Histories provides essays on the unparalleled recognition New Orleans has achieved as the Mecca of mealtime. Devoting each

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Overview

With contributions from Karen Leathem, Patricia Kennedy Livingston, Michael Mizell-Nelson, Cynthia LeJeune Nobles, Sharon Stallworth Nossiter, Sara Roahen, and Susan Tucker

New Orleans Cuisine: Fourteen Signature Dishes and Their Histories provides essays on the unparalleled recognition New Orleans has achieved as the Mecca of mealtime. Devoting each chapter to a signature cocktail, appetizer, sandwich, main course, staple, or dessert, contributors from the New Orleans Culinary Collective plate up the essence of the Big Easy through its best-known export: great cooking. This book views the city's cuisine as a whole, forgetting none of its flavorful ethnic influences--French, African American, German, Italian, Spanish, and more.

In servings of such well-recognized foods as shrimp remoulade, Creole tomato salad, turtle soup, and bread pudding, contributors explore a broad range of issues. Essays consider the history of refrigeration and ice in the city, famous restaurants, cooking schools, and the differences between Cajun and Creole cuisines. Biographical sketches of New Orleans's luminaries--including Mary Land, Corinne Dunbar, and Lena Richard--give personality to the stories. Recipes for each dish or beverage, drawn from historical cookbooks and contemporary chefs, complete the package.

New Orleans Cuisine shows how ingredients, ethnicities, cooks, chefs, and consumers all converged over time to make the city a culinary capital.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this dry but informative tour of 14 New Orleans classics, written by locals, readers will find familiar dishes like gumbo, red beans and rice and Oysters Rockefeller, but also surprising local staples such as Turtle Soup and Creole Cream Cheese. Unfortunately, too many writers miss the perfect opportunities to wax rhapsodic over a storied dish and its place in a rarified U.S. culture, struggling to round up everyone who ever had a hand in a given recipe. The result, too often, is a list-like recitation of names and dates. Michael Mizell-Nelson's story of the po-boy sandwich, for example, reads like a legal deposition, and Cynthia LeJeune Nobles's plodding, academic approach to gumbo is enough to make readers fall asleep in their soup bowls. In her defense, Nobles rewards readers with three winning gumbo recipes; those hungry for Oysters Rockefeller or a po-boy will have to find their own, as there's no recipes included for either. The city itself is also notably absent; somehow, the book manages to excise all the mystery and excitement from the capital of the Gothic South. While it should settle some arguments over who invented what, armchair tourists who'd like a taste of the city should check contributor Sara Roahen's far superior Gumbo Tales.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal

Tucker, curator of books and records for Tulane's Newcomb Center for Research on Women, has brought together six writers and the stories of 14 iconic dishes of New Orleans in one unique collection. The first chapter, "Setting the Table in New Orleans," serves as an introduction to the history and cuisine of this culturally diverse port city. The next 14 chapters each examine the history of one dish from cocktail to main course to dessert, including Sazerac, Turtle Soup, Gumbo, and Red Beans and Rice. The authors draw on historical cookbooks and recipes as well as contemporary resources to trace the rich past of each dish, providing readers with not only the history of the dish itself but also a sense of how the influx of different cultures and the passage of time had an impact on the Crescent City's culinary landscape. A nice fit for both culinary and history collections.
—Lisa A. Ennis

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781604731279
Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
Publication date:
02/27/2009
Pages:
256
Sales rank:
1,115,426
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)

Meet the Author


Susan Tucker is curator of books and records at the Newcomb Center for Research on Women at Tulane University.

S. Frederick Starr is chair of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute at Johns Hopkins University and the author or editor of many books on New Orleans and Louisiana, including Inventing New Orleans: Writings of Lafcadio Hearn (University Press of Mississippi).

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