Book Review: True Blood Cookbook

True Blood Cookbook Cover

How much do vampires need cookbooks? Surely the only thing they need is a dog-eared piece of parchment handed around, with “Find neck. Drink blood” on it? For vampire fans, or rather fans of True Blood, the cookbook “True Blood; Eats, Drinks and Bites from Bon Temps” has been published.

The recipes, by Marcelle Bienvenu, are a roundup of Southern classics: biscuits in gravy, candied sweet potatoes, fried chicken, corn bread, grits, and jambalaya; in all, a total of eighty-five recipes. The book is abundantly illustrated, mainly with photos from the series, and each recipe is introduced by a short paragraph by the character who supposedly provided the recipe. This does result in a large book (224 pages) considering the number of recipes, a reflection of things like using a whole page for a gin and tonic. There are things that to the non-initiate of Southern food do sound a little off the wall – ham with red eye gravy (basically reduced coffee) – joining it on my least likely to cook list is the Plaisir d’Amour Rabbit Stew. The dishes I would like to try are the Southern classics mentioned above.

The recipe also differ in that quantities within recipes are given in weights and cups; for example cracked eggs benedict calls for 1 ½ pounds of pork, 8 oz of pork liver but all the other ingredients are measured in cups. Slightly annoying in that it does mean that both scales and cup measures get dirty. Perhaps it’s a book designed for men, and intentionally using everything in the kitchen?

For fans of the show who are looking to bring their interest into the kitchen, the book rates five stars. For someone looking for a book of standard Southern US cooking, then it’s OK but I’m sure there are better books out there with a much greater range, with more emphasis on the food and less on photographs of the cast.

Update: Since posting the publisher has pointed out to me that there is a cup to metric conversion chart in the book.  I am told that the publishers wanted to keep the cup measurements in editions published in other countries to maintain the American feel to the book.

Fuss Free Rating

True Blood Cookbook by Marcelle Bienvenu: **

Fuss Free Book Review Star Ratings

True Blood Cookbook is published by Chronicle Books, cover price £19.99

Fuss Free Flavours received a complimentary copy for review. All opinions are our own, we were not required to write a positive review

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  1. says

    It’s very typical of US recipes to measure solids (for wont of a better word, meat etc.) in weight and anything you can pour (liquids and things like sugar and flour) in cups. It’s one of my pet peeves in American recipes.
    Cups are an abomination, anyway, they mean nothing to me. What’s wrong with measuring solids in g and liquids in ml? Easy to understand and to scale up/down.

  2. says

    Okay, I’m a big fan of the show and an huge fan of the books that inspired the show – but I didn’t like a single thing about this cookbook. I saw it at the library and grabbed it up – got home and paged through it…returned it a few hours later. (Though I do like ham w/ red-eye gravy…)

    And we do not grow up using ml, so that’s why our recipes are not listed in ml’s. You can easily pick up a set of measuring cups in any store, so it’s just second hat to us. I never understood why people don’t have a simple set of measuring cups in their kitchen. It all depends on what you’re “used to” I suppose…

  3. says

    I think that lots if it is cultura Heather, I do have cups but hate using them. And it is confusing that meat etc is in weight.

    Also that US and Australian cups are different sizes, but that is another story.

    • says

      Yes, definitely culture. Growing up in the US, you often find moms (myself included) giving their babies a set of measuring cups or spoons to play with as they sit in their high chair while mom (or dad) is in the kitchen. It’s ingrained in us!

      And yeah, I think this book is probably more of a novelty. It’s definitely not for cooks. ;) I was glad to see I wasn’t the only one who wasn’t impressed. I found that whole “by the character” overly cheesy (and not in a good way) and ridiculous. I couldn’t wait to get it out of the house, LOL!

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