Crawfish boudin paella chased with a gin-filé cocktail and followed by a Creole cream cheese snoball? What’s your most creative use of the ingredients featured in Hungry for Louisiana, An Omnivore’s Journey? Compete in this fun 4th of July contest and you could win a free, signed copy of the book and a complimentary package of hand-harvested bay leaves, so essential in Louisiana cooking.
Creole cream cheese. Ever heard of it?
If you’ve got roots in New Orleans, or some parts of Cajun Country, or if you’re a Slow Food disciple and track endangered foods, it might be familiar. But there are still a good many people throughout Louisiana and the rest of the country who have yet to discover this indigenous farmhouse cheese and its unique flavor profile.
A few years back in South Louisiana, when both Smith Creamery and Chef John Folse’s Bittersweet Plantation Dairy were making Creole cream cheese, you could find tubs of it on local grocery stores shelves. Then Smith Creamery experienced a large fire, and was later bought by Kleinpeter Dairy, and Folse opted to close his operation and focus on other ventures. Creole cream cheese was still being made in the region, but Baton Rougeans couldn’t buy it without special ordering it or driving over an hour to the Covington or Crescent Farmers Markets. Now you can find it again in the Capital Region as well as other parts of the state.
So excited! My book, Hungry for Louisiana, An Omnivore’s Journey (LSU Press) is out this month. You can find it on Amazon or in regional book stores, including large chains and local independents. It’s also in some gift shops and culinary stores, like Red Stick Spice Co. in Baton Rouge.
This was so much fun to work on. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it. The book includes an intro that explores how Louisiana’s food culture was local before local was cool and how there are few places in the world with such intact culinary traditions. Each subsequent chapter peers into a different food or ingredient from the state’s culinary tableau. Discover the quirks and traditions behind crawfish, jambalaya, Creole cream cheese, snoballs, filé, blood boudin, Zwolle tamales and oysters. Meet some of the people who produce these famed eats. This is breezy food writing with a few recipes at the end of each chapter.
What Ashley Hansen of Hansen’s Sno-Bliz did when her grandfather’s famed snoball machine was on the fritz…
Why the northeast Louisiana town of Zwolle has a deep and meaningful tradition of tamale-making that is nothing like the Mississippi Delta’s…
Exactly what makes a pot of jambalaya achieve blue ribbon excellence at the annual Jambalaya Festival in Gonzales, Jambalaya Capital of the World…
And lots more.
Please keep coming back to this site for updates, additional material, photos and more recipes.
Thanks for your interest!