Creole, Cajun and Soul Food from New Orleans's Famous Neighborhood of Jazz
by Todd-Michael St. Pierre
Hardcover ISBN 9781612430973
Take a culinary adventure in the comfort of your armchair to New Orleans, home to Creole, Cajun and good old Soul Food. Treme is a neighborhood or "ward" in New Orleans and Taste of Treme explores the cuisine of that particular region. For those of you who are fans of the HBO series Treme this book is a wonderful companion piece.
Taste of Treme seeks to inform and to tantalize its reader. It answers lots of questions.
For example: What is the difference between Creole and Cajun? Answer: Creole cuisine has Spanish and French influence whereas Cajun is French Canadian.
In this book you'll find lots of tasty New Orleans recipes along with articles about the people of the area, different locations of interest and the history of Treme all of which give the book and the recipes lots of great context. You'll learn a lot about the music of the area too! The author also provides proper pronunciation for key terms and informs us about the unique ingredients found in this particular cuisine. Each recipe is introduced with a few lines about its cultural or historical context or its origin story. These scattered sentences prove to be the most entertaining thing about the book, besides the mouth-watering pictures.
While not all of the recipes are accessible, a lot of them can be made at home. If you are on a diet, then this book may not be for you. Many dishes are fried or start with butter. If you have an adventurous palate or you enjoy the intricacies of Southern cuisines, Taste of Treme would make a great addition to your home cookbook library.
Some notable recipes in the book include:
Cafe Au Lait
Shrimp and Okra Hushpuppies
Oyster Po' Boys (there is even a recipe on how to make the bread!)
Creole Pork Roast
Crawfish and Brussel Sprouts
Mardi Gras King Cake
|Image from Amazon.com|
Tabby's Crawfish and Corn Beignets from pages 52-53
Some of the bigger recipes have smaller recipes preceding them so you get schooled in the proper way of making every element. Also, some of the more popular recipes are provided in their original form and variations are also given. This will make trying out the different foods a lot of fun for kitchen experimentation. This book proves to be a great resource for those of us who are determined to successfully make a proper Gumbo or Beignet or Roux.
A lot of the dishes are given fun names such as Your Gay Best Friend's Mardi Gras King Cake Cupcakes with Flamboyant Cinnamon-Mascarpone Frosting, SAINTsational Savory Crepes, and Rebirth Kickin' Chicken and Wicked-Ass Waffles which speak to the charm of the book and the region. All of the recipes seemed very intriguing and there were only a couple that turned me off (most notably Strawberry-Asparagus Salad).
The book comes in hardcover with glossy color pages. Only a handful of recipes have pictures which in my opinion is a flaw of the book. I prefer cookbooks in which each recipe has a dedicated picture. The recipes are organized by category and there is an appendix with an index and conversion chart.
If you love the food of New Orleans or you are curious about the cuisine, check out Taste of Treme!
Thank you to Ulysses Press for providing me with a copy of the book to review.