Synopses & Reviews
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.
"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." Washington Post
[This] deeply informed and plainly heartfelt investigation into New Orleans’ finest food traditions taps into a cornucopia of cultural riches.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.Informative, engaging and amusing . . . Gumbo Tales has the not-surprising effect of leaving the reader’s mouth watering. --Jonathan Yardley
"[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
Celebrating New Orleans" food culture, one specialty at a time.
"Makes you want to spend a week--immediately--in New Orleans." --Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg,
About the Author
Sara Roahen's work has appeared in Tin House, Oxford American, and Food & Wine magazines. She and her husband moved back to New Orleans in 2008.