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This title in other editions

Gumbo Tales: Finding My Place at the New Orleans Table

by

Gumbo Tales: Finding My Place at the New Orleans Table Cover

ISBN13: 9780393061673
ISBN10: 0393061671
Condition:
All Product Details

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Celebrating New Orleans' food culture, one specialty at a time.

A cocktail is more than a segue to dinner when it's a Sazerac, an anise-laced drink of rye whiskey and bitters indigenous to New Orleans. For Wisconsin native Sara Roahen, a Sazerac is also a fine accompaniment to raw oysters, a looking glass into the cocktail culture of her own family — and one more way to gain a foothold in her beloved adopted city.

Roahen's stories of personal discovery introduce readers to New Orleans' well-known signatures — gumbo, po-boys, red beans and rice — and its lesser-known gems: the pho of its Vietnamese immigrants, the braciolone of its Sicilians, and the ya-ka-mein of its street culture. By eating and cooking her way through a place as unique and unexpected as its infamous turducken, Roahen finds a home. And then Katrina. With humor, poignancy, and hope, she conjures up a city that reveled in its food traditions before the storm — and in many ways has been saved by them since.

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." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"Sara Roahen has written a surprisingly informative, engaging and amusing book about the cooking of New Orleans — surprisingly, that is, because she is an outsider who yearns to be accepted as an authentic New Orleanean, and persons afflicted with that peculiar disorder tend more toward affectation than authenticity. But Roahen, who has written about Louisiana food for various local and national publications,... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"With humor and clarity, [Roahen] uses food as a vehicle through history, providing fascinating chapters on the contributions of Italian and Vietnamese populations to the cosmopolitan menu." Booklist

Review:

"[Roahen's] adventures in gastronomy are entertaining, instructive, often hilarious, and absolutely hunger-inducing — but also (this being New Orleans) heartbreaking." Very Short List

Synopsis:

Celebrating New Orleans' food culture, one specialty at a time.

Synopsis:

A cocktail is more than a segue to dinner when it's a Sazerac, an anise-laced drink of rye whiskey and bitters indigenous to New Orleans. For Wisconsin native Sara Roahen, a Sazerac is also a fine accompaniment to raw oysters, a looking glass into the cocktail culture of her own family--and one more way to gain a foothold in her beloved adopted city. Roahen's stories of personal discovery introduce readers to New Orleans' well-known signatures--gumbo, po-boys, red beans and rice--and its lesser-known gems: the pho of its Vietnamese immigrants, the braciolone of its Sicilians, and the ya-ka-mein of its street culture. By eating and cooking her way through a place as unique and unexpected as its infamous turducken, Roahen finds a home. And then Katrina. With humor, poignancy, and hope, she conjures up a city that reveled in its food traditions before the storm--and in many ways has been saved by them since.

About the Author

Sara Roahen's work has appeared in Tin House, Oxford American, and FoodandWine magazines. She and her husband own a home in New Orleans. They pay rent in Philadelphia.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Jacqueline Church, March 14, 2008 (view all comments by Jacqueline Church)
Having a deep love for the city of New Orleans, I could not return until I was sure its recovery from the storms and my own were far enough along that my trip would not be a daily trail of tears.

To my delight, I had the great luck to find Sara Roahen was doing a reading/book signing at the Garden District Bookstore. It was such a treat to hear her speak about her adopted home, her falling in love with the city, being seduced by the "food culcha".

The book is a series of stories framed around food, food histories, myths and epiphanies. Most all of life and social intercourse in New Orleans is only a fork's distance from food, it seems to me, so this works well.

The book is at turns laugh-out-loud funny and drippy tears poignantly sad. It reinforces the importance of food and the significance of a shared meal. Just don't try to read it on empty stomach!

Jacqueline Church
The Leather District Gourmet
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(9 of 9 readers found this comment helpful)

Product Details

ISBN:
9780393061673
Author:
Roahen, Sara
Publisher:
W. W. Norton & Company
Subject:
Essays
Subject:
United States - South - West South Central (General)
Subject:
Personal Memoirs
Subject:
Food habits
Subject:
Folklore
Subject:
Regional & Ethnic - Cajun & Creole
Subject:
United States / South / West South Central (AR, LA, OK, TX)
Subject:
Cajun
Subject:
New Orleans (La.) Social life and customs.
Subject:
New Orleans (La.) - Folklore
Subject:
Cooking and Food-Cajun and Creole
Copyright:
Publication Date:
February 2008
Binding:
Hardcover
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
304
Dimensions:
8 x 6 in

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Related Subjects

Cooking and Food » Food Writing » General
Cooking and Food » General
Cooking and Food » Regional and Ethnic » Cajun
Cooking and Food » Regional and Ethnic » Cajun and Creole
Travel » North America » United States » Southwestern States

Gumbo Tales: Finding My Place at the New Orleans Table New Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$23.95 In Stock
Product details 304 pages Norton - English 9780393061673 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "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." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "With humor and clarity, [Roahen] uses food as a vehicle through history, providing fascinating chapters on the contributions of Italian and Vietnamese populations to the cosmopolitan menu."
"Review" by , "[Roahen's] adventures in gastronomy are entertaining, instructive, often hilarious, and absolutely hunger-inducing — but also (this being New Orleans) heartbreaking."
"Synopsis" by , Celebrating New Orleans' food culture, one specialty at a time.
"Synopsis" by , A cocktail is more than a segue to dinner when it's a Sazerac, an anise-laced drink of rye whiskey and bitters indigenous to New Orleans. For Wisconsin native Sara Roahen, a Sazerac is also a fine accompaniment to raw oysters, a looking glass into the cocktail culture of her own family--and one more way to gain a foothold in her beloved adopted city. Roahen's stories of personal discovery introduce readers to New Orleans' well-known signatures--gumbo, po-boys, red beans and rice--and its lesser-known gems: the pho of its Vietnamese immigrants, the braciolone of its Sicilians, and the ya-ka-mein of its street culture. By eating and cooking her way through a place as unique and unexpected as its infamous turducken, Roahen finds a home. And then Katrina. With humor, poignancy, and hope, she conjures up a city that reveled in its food traditions before the storm--and in many ways has been saved by them since.
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