Tuesday, January 4


Image borrowed from the KnowLA Web site, www.knowla.org.

The newly launched online encyclopedia, KnowLA, just released this entry, by SFA member Rien Fertel, on the history of Louisiana cookbooks. An excerpt from his article is below, or read the full entry by clicking here.

No other state has produced as sizable a body of cooking literature like that of Louisiana’s. Beginning in the mid-nineteenth century, several Louisiana cookbooks collected the diverse cooking styles of Creole New Orleans. Crescent city cookbooks continued to represent Louisiana throughout the next century; a multitude of cookery texts published by whites and African Americans, home cooks and professional chefs, and community organizations and businesses provided recipes that filled the pots and pans of kitchens both regionally and nationwide. In 1971, Time-Life’s Foods of the World series identified Louisiana as the only state worthy of its own cookbook, elevating Creole and Cajun to the height of other international cuisines. In the following decades, Cajun cookbooks, exemplified by Paul Prudhomme, and the food of Acadiana reached unprecedented levels of widespread popularity.

KnowLA is a self-described "comprehensive, dynamic online reference guide to the history and culture of Louisiana." It is available free of charge to anyone with Web access. Visit them at www.knowla.org.