Rien Fertel is a Louisiana-born and based writer, historian, and teacher. He grew up in his family’s chain of restaurants across the country, and, after graduating from college, ran a grocery-deli in downtown New Orleans. Hurricane Katrina exiled him to New York, where he started writing about food. His work has appeared in Oxford American, Garden & Gun, Southern Living, Spirit, Saveur, The Local Palate, and many other publications. He holds a PhD in History, teaches in New Orleans, and divides his time between the banks of the Mississippi River and a 100-plus year old church in St. Martinville, Louisiana.
Wrong. The fried chicken and collard greens are African, the rice is from Madagascar, the sweet potatoes came to Virginia from the Peruvian Andes via Spain, and the spoon bread is a marriage of Native American corn with the French souffl technique thought up by skilled African American cooks.
Food historian Rick McDaniel takes 150 of the South's best-loved and most delicious recipes and tells how to make them and the history behind them. From fried chicken to gumbo to Robert E. Lee Cake, it's a history lesson that will make your mouth water.
What southerners today consider traditional southern cooking was really one of the world's first international cuisines, a mlange of European, Native American and African foods and influences brought together to form one of the world's most unique and recognizable cuisines.
Rien Fertel argues that Charles Gayarré's English-language histories of Louisiana, which emphasized the state's dual connection to America and to France, provided the foundation of a white Creole print culture predicated on Louisiana's exceptionalism. The writings of authors like Grace King, Adrien Rouquette, and Alfred Mercier consciously fostered an image of Louisiana as a particular social space, and of themselves as the true inheritors of its history and culture. In turn, the forging of this white Creole identity created a close-knit community of cosmopolitan Creole elites, who reviewed each other's books, attended the same salons, crusaded against the popular fiction of George Washington Cable, and worked together to preserve the French language in local and state governmental institutions. Together they reimagined the definition of "Creole" and used it as a marker of status and power.
By the end of this group's era of cultural prominence, Creole exceptionalism had become a cornerstone in the myth of Louisiana in general and of New Orleans in particular. In defining themselves, the authors in the white Creole print community also fashioned a literary identity that resonates even today.
From brisket to ribs, beef to pork, mesquite to oak, this fully illustrated, comprehensive guide to Texas barbecue includes pit masters’ recipes, tales of the road—from country meat markets to roadside stands, sumptuous photography, and a panoramic look at the Lone Star State, where smoked meat is sacred.