NEW ORLEANS – True Blood fans can now concoct their own blood-red beet bisque, crimson sweet tea and other Cajun delicacies inspired by the hit HBO vampire drama and compiled in a new cookbook.
True Blood is filmed partly in Louisiana and is set in the fictional Louisiana town of Bon Temps. The states cuisine is often referenced in the series, where vampires and mortals mingle over bowls of okra gumbo, jambalaya, and red beans and rice.
The cookbook, True Blood: Eats, Drinks, and Bites from Bon Temps, was compiled by Cajun chef Marcelle Bienvenu and is being released in bookstores today, shortly after Sundays broadcast of the shows fifth-season finale.
Im 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. Theres still such a mystique about the food and culture here.
True Blood stars real-life husband-and-wife actors Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer. Paquin plays the shows beloved heroine Sookie Stackhouse, a mostly human waitress who falls for vampire Bill Compton, a Confederate veteran turned into a bloodsucker played by Moyer.
In the cookbook, recipes are accompanied with pictures and excerpts from the series. For instance, a recipe for creamy crawfish dip is displayed among pictures from a scene in which Stackhouse drives to Shreveport, La., to see a werewolf but is instead greeted at the door by Debbie Pelt, a character who has twice tried to kill her.
In the scene, Debbie offers Sookie a helping of crawfish dip.
James Costos, vice president of licensing and retail for HBO, said the cookbook was a natural extension for the show, which already has a fragrance and beauty product line.
The senses play a huge part in True Blood, Costos said. The cookbook is another way to tap into the carnal desires that are played out on screen.
This isnt the first time HBO has merged a show with a cookbook. The network released a collection of recipes from the tables of Italian mob families in the long-running hit drama The Sopranos, and theres a cookbook due out next year based on the New Orleans-shot HBO series Treme.