Food sets the tempo of life in the Bayou State, where people believed in eating locally and seasonally long before it was fashionable. In Hungry for Louisiana: An Omnivore's Journey award-winning journalist Maggie Heyn Richardson takes readers to local farms, meat markets, restaurants, festivals, culinary competitions, and roadside vendors to reveal the love, pride, and cultural importance of Louisiana’s traditional and evolving cuisine.
Focusing on eight of the state’s most emblematic foods—crawfish, jambalaya, snoballs, Creole cream cheese, filé, blood boudin, tamales, and oysters—Richardson provides a fresh look at Louisiana’s long culinary history. In addition to concluding each chapter with corresponding recipes, these vignettes not only celebrate local foodways but also acknowledge the complicated dynamic between maintaining local traditions and managing agricultural and social change.
From exploring the perilous future of oyster farming along the threatened Gulf Coast to highlighting the rich history of the Spanish-Indian tamale in the quirky north Louisiana town of Zwolle, Richardson’s charming and thoughtful narrative shows how deeply food informs the identity of Louisiana’s residents.
MAGGIE HEYN RICHARDSON’s award-winning reporting has been featured in the Baton Rouge Business Report. She has covered the food and culture of Louisiana for national outlets as well as numerous regional publications, and she is a contributor to the 2014 LSU Press book, The Louisiana Field Guide. She lives with her husband and three children in Baton Rouge.
Praise for Hungry for Louisiana
“Informative and thorough . . . this book accomplishes its journalistic goal with each essay possessing a certain breeziness that makes time go by quickly as you learn something. And, finally, Hungry for Louisiana does just that—it makes me hungry and wanting to try the recipes.”—Louisiana Libraries
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