OP: La Cuisine Creole
F. Hansel & Bro., Ltd., 1922. Hardcover. Good Plus.
La Cuisine Creole (1885) and The Creole Cookery Book by the Christian Woman’s Exchange were both published in anticipation of the World’s Industrial and Cotton Centennial in winter 1884–1885. Together they not only mark the beginning of documenting New Orleans cuisine as distinct but also in applying the term Creole to the food itself.
Though published anonymously, the compilation of recipes—“from leading chefs and noted Creole housewives, who have made New Orleans famous for its cuisine”—is widely attributed to the eccentric world traveler and newspaper reporter Lafcidio Hearn (1850–1904).
The book includes some of the earliest printed recipes for the dishes and ingredients which have come to be associated with New Orleans.
Among them you will find (with Hearn’s spelling): gombo filee, jamboloyah, and bouille-abaisse. There’s also a host of lesser-known regional specialties—cucumber pickles in whiskey, parsnip fritters, crab gumbo, chicken saute with oyster sauce, orange pie.
Our copy, though styled second edition with only the 1885 date to the copyright page, is broadly accepted as a 1922 third edition. The red cloth case and signature marking on page 13 distinguish it thus. Good Plus condition with soiling, rubbing, and fraying to the boards. Some stray markings and stains to the interior. The front hinge is split, and the title page is half loose. The rest of the binding is sound but does require delicate handling. (Bitting 221, 539)This copy was acquired from the Sontheimer Foundation Library, indicated by the bookplate on the front pastedown, which also carries bookseller labels from Vieux Carré “old book and curio store” (New Orleans) and Corner Book Shop, Eleanor Lowenstein’s former Greenwich Village cookbook store in New York. Scarce and significant.