OP: New Orleans Recipes
General Printing Co., 1932. Paperback. Very Good. Sixth edition.
This slim (90-pages), 1932 book captures New Orleans at a point of transition between the old ways and the new, traditional and modern.
The New Orleans Cookbook Bibliography specifically mentions how the 1930s saw the coming of age of the last generation to be brought up speaking French at home. Similarly, the dishes here are sometimes represented by their French names and other times in English. And author Mary Moore Bremer offers her own parenthetical “(old Creole recipe)” to a number of dishes like gumbo gouter, couche-couche, wild turkey stuffing, and bruckner punch.
A hint at international cuisines—chow mein, chili con carne, ravioli—also suggests the changing culinary culture. All the old standbys are here too, though: bouilla-baisse, trout maguery, frog legs, chicken pilau, pain perdu, and cashaw—”the most delightful of the pumpkin family.”
Though born in South Carolina, Bremer displays a keen interest in and depth of knowledge of New Orleans cuisine, offering her own occasional commentary, adding character, context, and folklore. A pleasant browse all around.
Dorothea Thompson appears to have taken over the printing after Bremer’s death in 1943, and by at least the tenth edition the book was appearing as comb bound. Ours is an earlier printing, stated sixth, from when it was still self-published and staple bound. The paper wrappers are soiled, both front and back, and there is some dampstaining to the top and bottom edge of the block. The staples are rusted, but the binding remains secure.