In 1900, an anonymous staff member of the Daily Picayune newspaper visited Louisiana households and estates to interview black domestic workers and write down “from their lips the exact formulae by which the famous Creole dishes are prepared”. From there, recipes were tested for authenticity and practicality before being printed and published as The Picayune Creole Cookbook (sometimes listed as The Picayune’s Creole Cookbook. The Picayune Creole Cookbook announces its stakes and intentions early and often: although, the introduction explains, a cookbook of this type would have once been a “useless addition” to one’s kitchen, the increasing loss of black cooks has made the preservation and publication of Creole recipes “a necessity” (1). Following the first edition, subsequent editions were published throughout the twentieth century, in 1901, 1906, 1916, 1922, 1928, 1936, 1938, 1942, 1945, 1947, 1954, 1966 and 1971. Several editions have been digitized, including the fourth edition (published 1910), fifth edition (1916), and sixth edition (1922).
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