Starred Review. In this gratifying love letter to her adopted home, food writer Roahen takes the French idea of terroir-the effect of a region's climate and geography on its wine grapes-as a jumping-off point, locating New Orlean's "emotional terroir" in its food. Though it's a nebulous concept, this culinary tour succeeds repeatedly in defining the indefinable with grace, wit and passion-especially in regards to the city's alluring, complex flavors and aromas. Beginning with gumbo, Roahen examines the Crescent City's signature dishes, offering a history of the cuisine, the people who shaped it and those who keep it alive. Readers will meet Ernest and Mary Hansen, crafters of "artisan" shaved-ice sno-balls; take a seat at Luizza's by the Track for transcendental BBQ shrimp po-boys; sample Miss Lovie's phenomenal Big Mama's Seafood Gumbo; and marvel at the ravenous characters populating Hawk's crawfish boil. An accomplished cook herself, Roahan periodically ushers readers into her kitchen for experiments like the daunting, superindulgent Turducken: a chicken stuffed inside a duck that is then stuffed inside a turkey. Hurricane Katrina is treated as a kind of recurring character, dogging the city and its inhabitants, and Roahen honors their struggle and loss. Those familiar with the city will smile and nod along; readers who've never had the pleasure may find themselves making travel arrangements long before the last page.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
“[This] deeply informed and plainly heartfelt investigation into New Orleans’ finest food traditions taps into a cornucopia of cultural riches.” — Elle
“An endearing collection of stories from the seven years [Sara Roahen] spent in the Crescent City, learning to embrace its unapologetically decadent cuisine. It is part culinary history, part memoir and part homage to places that have since been erased.” — Salon
“Informative, engaging and amusing . . . has the not-surprising effect of leaving the reader’s mouth watering.” — Jonathan Yardley (Washington Post)
“This is the book to lead you, rejoicing, to your favorite restaurant, or fire up that kitchen stove to make a batch of gumbo for your mama ‘n’ dem. This book is a joy to read, a pleasure to pass along, a book to treasure. It leaves you hungry in your body, satisfied in your soul.” — New Orleans Times-Picayune
Paired with Tom Fitzmorris's Hungry Town part of the definitive history of NOLA cuisine and
and pre and post Katrina.
I am drinking a Sazerac cocktail as I write this review. Roahen moved to New Orleans with her medschool student husband. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Nemoman
It made me appreciate New Orleans all the more. Love the food and the stories that go with it!Published 5 months ago by JFH
Forgot to post this here. From a bit I wrote on Rowley's Whiskey Forge in 2008. As true today as it was then:
During Tales of the Cocktail this past July,... Read more
I read this book before taking a long weekend to New Orleans. It was an interesting read before our visit.Published 11 months ago by Chris G
At my restaurant, I wanted to throw a salute to New Orleans
brunch. The main feature of the event was crab gumbo. Read more
Yes, I read this baby 5 times .. I'm a writer and a former chef, living in New York. I've thraveled all around the World and to New Orleans 7 times .. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Frank
If you are planning a trip to New Orleans, or do a regular pilgrimage to NOLA like we do, this book should be required reading. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Randy baker
This food reviewer falls in love with New Orleans cuisine, and writes about it-- a whole chapter on gumbo, for example. She names restaurants and small cafes, post_Katrina. Read morePublished on August 4, 2013 by Kiwiruth