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real men cook.jpg

Local jazz singer Philip Manuel, seen here in a 2003 file photo, is one of millions of Louisiana men who cook. (G. Andrew Boyd, The | Times-Picayune archive)

By Judy Walker, | The Times-Picayune on May 20, 2014 at 1:37 PM, updated May 20, 2014 at 3:21 PM

“Louisiana, the state where men cook and women know football.” The old joke ran through my head when I unpacked a new cookbook subtitled “The Essential Cookbook for Guys.”

Here, every cookbook is for men as well as women. As many men cook at home as do women. It seems normal.

Although the rest of the country is coming around to our way of things, with more men cooking all the time, this hasn’t always been the case. Food preparation still is perceived as the work of women, with one major exception: Grilling. Major publishers still bring out what they label “cookbooks for men.”

Why is this? Why do men here in Louisiana cook as much as women?

Is it the culture of hunting and fishing? Is it our overall reverence for food? I’ve heard both explanations, but I’m curious to know what other people think.

I’d love to hear your opinions on the topic. Why do men cook in Louisiana?


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