La Cuisine Creole

A Collection of Culinary Recipes

 This volume in the American Antiquarian Cookbook Collection, published in New Orleans in 1885, is one of the great classics of Creole cuisine, believed to be the first Creole cookbook in print.

 Although it was printed anonymously in 1885, Lafcadio Hearn is generally accepted as the author of La Cuisine Creole. In his introduction, Hearn describes the intriguing origin of this unique cuisine, explaining that, “it partakes of the nature of its birthplace—New Orleans—which is cosmopolitan in its nature, blending the characteristics of the American, French, Spanish, Italian, West Indian and Mexican . . . There are also obvious influences from Native Americans, African Americans, and others in the American melting pot.”  Among the “many original recipes and other valuable ones heretofore unpublished” included in the book are Gombo file, Bouille-abaisse, Courtbouillon, Jambolaya, Salade a la Russe, Bisque of Gray-fish a la Creole, Pousse Café, Café brule, Okra Gombo, Grenouilles Frites, Pain Perdu, Sangaree, and a marvelous collection of fish, seafood, and game recipes. There are also instructions on “The Service of Wine” and a large number of recipes for drinks and cocktails. 


This edition of La Cuisine Creole by Lafcadio Hearn was reproduced by permission from the volume in the collection of the American Antiquarian Society, Worcester, Massachusetts. Founded in 1812 by Isaiah Thomas, a Revolutionary War patriot and successful printer and publisher, the Society is a research library documenting the life of Americans from the colonial era through 1876. The Society collects, preserves, and makes available as complete a record as possible of the printed materials from the early American experience. The cookbook collection includes approximately 1,100 volumes.

About the Author

 Lafcadio Hearn was an internationally known writer, best known for his books about Japan, especially his collections of Japanese legends and ghost stories. Hearn moved to New Orleans in 1877 and spent a decade there. His writings for national magazines such as Harper's Weekly and Scribner's Magazine helped create the city's popular reputation as a place with a distinctive culture more akin to that of Europe and the Caribbean than to the rest of North America. Although he was not a cook and lived in boarding houses during his stay in New Orleans, Hearn agreed to edit the cookbook in exchange for publication of another of his works.

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