Academic journal article The Journal of Southern History

Picayune's Creole Cook Book

Academic journal article The Journal of Southern History

Picayune's Creole Cook Book

Article excerpt

The best way to enjoy the beautiful richness that The Picayune's Creole Cook Book (Introduction by John Besh. American Antiquarian Cookbook Collection. Kansas City, Mo., and other cities: Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2013. Pp. [viii], 456. $40.00, ISBN 978-1-4494-3171-6.) has to offer is to sit oneself down with a steaming cup of cafe' a la Creole and one or two New Orleans pralines. As you sip your coffee, slowly leaf through this treasure trove of recipes that breathes life into a selection of succulent dishes from colonial through Reconstruction-era Louisiana. This book provides a compilation of a cultural memory of New Orleans, which was the product of various diasporas and transnational interaction. As John Besh notes, "Each delicious recipe tells a story of a family, culture, and tradition. Each story tells a journey that our people traveled--rich, poor, black, white, or red" (p. ii).

It is precisely through this ethnogenesis of culinary traditions that we get a glimpse of the true New Orleans Creole culture, in which the kitchen was fundamental, and primarily that of the African American woman. …

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