Mardi Gras starts this week and, if you’re not headed down to the Big Easy yourself, what better way to celebrate than with some New Orleans-style desserts? DamGoodSweet: Desserts to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth, New Orleans Style is the perfect book to put you on the right track, with a collection of tasty recipes that you don’t have to take a trip to Louisiana to enjoy.
The book starts right off with classic N’awlins favorites, including a buttermilk beignet recipe. These light, crisp , bite-sized donuts are synonymous with the Cafe du Monde, a New Orleans cafe where they are a signature treat, and are so popular that they may as well be synonymous with the name of the city itself. All of the recipes are thoroughly written out and are easy to follow along with. There are plenty of photos in the book to give you an idea of what you’re finished result should look like – and to tempt you in to trying all kinds of dishes.
One of the nicest features of the book is the way that every recipe is accompanied by a story of what makes this recipe so popular, or such a signature dish for the area. There are also asides that talk about some of the city’s most famous culinary hot-spots (at least where sweets are concerned!), such as the Cafe du Monde and McKenzie’s Pastry Shoppe. Many of the stories include personal anecdotes from the author, a pastry chef who grew up in the Big Easy. His easy writing style makes the book fun to read, as well as to cook from. These types of stories really help you connect with the food culture of the area a little bit and, by the time you’re done with the book, you’ll probably feel pretty enthusiastic about the area and its food – and you might even feel like taking a little trip out there to try it for yourself.