Here is a classic in its field, but it is Mardi Gras and after all New Orleans has suffered in recent years, the book is a fitting testament to an indomitable spirit and rich culinary tradition.

The Evolution of Cajun & Creole Cuisine was self-published by Louisiana’s legendary John D. Folse around 1990, the first non-Italian chef to have been accorded the privilege of planning a Vatican State Dinner. It is easy to understand why Folse was accorded that honor.

The book is worth buying (it is available on Amazon) for the opening chapter on stocks and sauces alone. They are not, generally, as difficult as many imagine and help make food in Louisiana what it is.

The Creole Bouillabaisse is outstanding and many of the soups will surprise: the Squash and Shrimp Bisque, for instance, the Veloute of Catfish and Brie (try it!), or even the Cream of Eggplant. Of course, the book abounds with recipes for the famous seafood dishes of which Louisiana is rightfully famous. Many outside of Louisiana will also appreciate the many recipes for wild game.

This is one of the few cook books I own where pictures are few and far between, but cookbooks resplendent with pictures were few and far between 25 years ago. Don’t let the lack of pictures for every recipe put you off. The recipes are timeless; this is the Cajun & Creole Bible.