I don’t usually make note of cookbooks based on popular shows or books because, well, 9 times out of 10 they are ridiculous and not worth any kind of mention. But, the new True Blood cookbook, True Blood: Eats, Drinks, and Bites from Bon Temps, is one that has caught my eye. This book has received rave reviews, and not just from fans of the show, but from actual cooks.
“True Blood, HBO’s blockbuster paranormal drama, enthralls a diverse audience of 13 million viewers (and counting). Menus at the now-famous Fangtasia and Merlotte’s Bar and Grill play a key role in the series, providing sustenance for its human characters, evoking memories of a bygone life for its vampires, and serving as a powerful symbol for the desires and carnal needs the characters harbor. It’s no wonder so many fans revel in at-home parties inspired by the food on the series! With recipes from unforgettable scenes, each entertainingly introduced by True Blood ’s most compelling characters, these 85 authentic bayou country recipes and 150-plus photos from the series give fans a big taste of Bon Temps.”
By Gianna Sobol and Alan Ball • With Karen Sommer Shalett • Recipes by Marcelle Beinvenu • Food photographs by Alex Farnum
Gianna Sobol is an associate producer on HBO’s hit series True Blood. She lives in Los Angeles. Alan Ball is the creator, writer, and producer of the HBO original series True Blood and Six Feet Under. He lives in Los Angeles (but has deep Southern roots).
Karen Sommer Shalett is the editor-in-chief of DC magazine, and a former staff writer for New Orleans’ Times-Picayune. Marcelle Bienvenu is co-author of the bestselling New Orleans heritage cookbook, Cookin’ Up a Storm.
According to reviewers, the recipes in this cookbook may have True Blood inspired names, but they are authentic southern recipes. Some are just simple and basic (like biscuits and gravy), but others a bit more complex.
Marcelle Beinvenu, the woman behind the book’s recipes, chatted about the project in an interview, saying “I’m going to be honest with you, I had never seen the show before they asked me to do this cookbook,” said Bienvenu, a chef from the Cajun town of St. Martinville, La., who lived in New Orleans for several years and now teaches culinary arts at Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, La.
“I sat down and watched it with my notebook, and I was amazed how much food was mentioned in the series,” she said. “It was fun making the recipes come to life. I think people are still mystified by south Louisiana food. There’s still such a mystique about the food and culture here.”
It sounds like the folks behind True Blood put a lot of thought into the cookbook. If you’re big into cooking and love True Blood, I’d give the book a shot. Personally, I’ll be passing on it seeing how I survive off of my microwave.
Oh, and a word of advice for those planning on buying this book, do NOT buy it from HBO’s website, it costs $10 more than every other website that sells it.