Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Holiday Gift Guide: True Blood: Eats, Drinks, and Bites from Bon Temps by Gianna Sobol and Alan Ball

True Blood: Eats, Drinks, and Bites from Bon Temps (Chronicle Books) represents the ultimate creative full circle. What is now an immensely popular television series began as the Southern Vampire Mystery Series by Charlaine Harris. The first book in the series, Dead Until Dark, debuted in 2001. Then came True Blood the television series in 2008. And now, four years later, we have the -- wait for it -- cookbook, co-authored by associate produced Gianna Sobol and creator, writer and producer of the series, Allan Ball. As such, this is an official series cookbook -- quite a few steps beyond “inspired by” -- and thus includes cast photos and production stills, and writing (ahem) straight from the mouths of Sookie and her pals.

Of course, being that producers and television writers tend not to be noted chefs, the authors had some help with the actual recipes. Though attributed to various series characters, the recipes were actually created by  Marcelle Bienvenue, co-author of the bestselling New Orleans heritage cookbook, Cooking Up A Storm.

Those venturing this far will find fairly standard Southern fare bedazzled with dark titles: Corn Bread of Life, Drop-Dead Tuna Cheese Casserole, Did I Kiss Your Grits?, Another Dead Chick-en Sandwich, Killer Lemonade and so on.

The recipes are fun if unexceptional, but the production values are high. Fans of the series will love this one. ◊

Monica Stark is a contributing editor to January Magazine. She currently makes her home on a liveaboard boat somewhere in the North Pacific.

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