Published in New Orleans in 1901, this volume in the American Antiquarian Cookbook Collection is widely credited with preserving the rich Creole cooking tradition from extinction. The recipes were gathered directly from the local cooks and housekeepers who had passed them down verbally for generations.
Published in 1901 in New Orleans, The Picayune’s Creole Cook Book is widely credited with preserving the rich tradition of Creole cooking. At the beginning of the twentieth century, the Picayune, a New Orleans newspaper, was determined to save the local cuisine and collected it directly from the cooks and housekeepers who were the first practitioners of the Creole tradition. The book became wildly popular and has had over 15 editions printed throughout the twentieth century.
As stated in the introduction, The Picayune’s Creole Cook Book was published “to assist housekeepers generally to set a dainty and appetizing table at a moderate outlay; to give recipes clearly and accurately with simplicity and exactness” and the recipes blend a fantastic array of influences from French style and Spanish spices to African fruits and Indian gumbos. The recipe list includes classics such as seafoods, gumbos, cakes and pastries, jambalayas, and fruit drinks, along with many other delectable dishes. With its fascinating historical origins and delicious authentic recipes, The Picayune’s Creole Cook Book is truly the bible of the rich Louisiana culinary tradition.
This edition of The Picayune’s Creole Cook Book was reproduced by permission from the volume in the collection of the American Antiquarian Society, Worcester, Massachusetts. Founded in 1812 by Isaiah Thomas, a Revolutionary War patriot and successful printer and publisher, the society is a research library documenting the lives of Americans from the colonial era through 1876. The society collects, preserves, and makes available as complete a record as possible of the printed materials from the early American experience. The cookbook collection comprises approximately 1,100 volumes.
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Established in 1837 by Francis Lumsden and George Wilkins Kendall, this newspaper published in New Orleans is now called the Times-Picayune after a merger with a rival paper, the New Orleans Times-Democrat, in 1914. Its original price was a Spanish coin equivalent to $.0625, a “picayune.” Today, the paper is part of Advance Publications, owned by the Newhouse family.
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