Nana's Creole Italian Table: Recipes and Stories from Sicilian New Orleans
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"Creole Italian is the culinary intermingling of peasant-style Sicilian with relatively refined French Creole," writes Elizabeth Williams, whose grandmother sailed to New Orleans from Sicily many years ago. But her family's recipes are more than that marriage: "They tie into the larger story about cultural transformation and the weakening of the cord that binds subsequent generations."
Through recipes and stories, Williams, the founder of the Southern Food and Beverage Museum in New Orleans, traces that cultural interaction and transformation, revealing Sicilian contributions to the city's culinary landscape. Some are instantly recognizable, like the olive salad that is essential on a muffuletta sandwich. Others may be more idiosyncratically a part of William's family, but they nevertheless capture the interplay between cultures, such as the pimento cheese pasta.
Though this is not a flashy book—most photographs are black-and-white family portraits rather than platters of food—it is an enlightening and charming one that preserves valuable culinary history.
Hardcover. b&w photos.