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Melissa M. Martin Books In Order

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Mosquito Supper Club (2020)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Melissa M. Martin is an American author of cookbook best known for her debut novel Mosquito Supper Club. She co-owns a Cajun supper club and an oyster bar in New Orleans and lives in Lower Ninth Ward, one of the areas most hit by Hurricane Katrina.

She was born and raised in the bayou, Louisiana coast, and has lived in New Orleans for over two decades before finally relocating to Lowe Ninth with her photographer husband and their son Kai.

Mosquito Super Club
When Melissa M. Martin enrolled at Loyola University based in New Orleans, most of the people on campus couldn’t understand her, for she had a strong accent, mixed French with English. Her mates told her she was Cajun, and she had no idea.
Martin was raised in Chauvin, Louisiana, in a village that’s an hour from New Orleans. Her life in Chauvin was entirely different compared to those of the kids in upstate New Orleans.

The waters surrounding her home village feed the community with shrimp, crabs, trout, and redfish. She mainly survived on a shrimp diet and tried almost entire the shrimp recipes.

Until 18, the author never left Chauvin; she vividly remembers one family trip in Panama City and a few vacations in Biloxi, Mississippi.
The author has dedicated her life to teaching people about Cajun culture and does it mainly through food.

She launched Mosquito Super Club back in 2014 to feed small groups in New Orleans stuffed crabs, shrimp stew, boiled crawfish, oyster gumbo, and fish stew- the kinds of foods her mother makes back in Chauvin.

And because she genuinely wants the entire world to know about Cajun culture, she’s able to achieve that through her first cookbook, Mosquito Supper Club.
The book is full of poetry, and the recipes in the cookbook are built on a base of slow-cooked bell peppers, garlic, and onion.

She refers to crabs as summer sun held by shell and seawater. Even the recipe cooking directions are filled with Melissa martin’s voice, urging the reader to stir, stir, and reassuring the reader that everything else will be easy.

Greens and vegetables get more attention than beef or pork, but there’s more duck than chicken. Her cooking feels like the sort of food you’d wish to find on a table of a local family; smothered okra, oyster spaghetti, strawberry pie, stuffed crab, and shrimp jambalaya.
Mosquito Supper Club is more than just a cookbook; the book is like a manual teaching reader how to be a Cajun.

It includes step-by-step photographs on how to shuck an oyster, make a roux, or peel a crawfish. The author, who was raised among fishers, wants her readers to get a better understanding of how seafood gets to their plates. She deciphers fishermen’s CB lingo, includes a shrimper’s glossary, with terms like champagne (70lbs of shrimp), trawlers, or Lafitte skiff. She further goes on to explain how poorly shrimpers are paid at the dock, where a pound of shrimp costs less than 2 dollars.

In the cookbook, the author documents not only a kitchen but a whole culture that she can’t promise how much longer it will survive. She further blames the cheap foreign shrimp that make it impossible for local fishermen to make a decent living.

Climate change has contributed to the decline of what she terms as the “basic needs” of the community, while oil companies have contributed to wiping out the marshes. However, Martin doesn’t blame her parent or their generation.

She acknowledges that as much as she loves the Cajun culture, she hasn’t been to Chauvin for 25 years. All her siblings have also left the town, and she understands that choice is also another reason why the town she was brought up in is changing.

Even though Mosquito Supper Club is a work written by a restaurant chef, it’s not a restaurant cookbook. The author writes all her recipes with the clarity of someone capable of communicating precisely what she want’s her cooks to do.

Lastly, the book is illustrated with photos of the place and book, and it’s divided into chapters by ingredients from oysters and shrimp to rice, poultry, and sugarcane. Each chapter kicks off with an essay explaining the ingredients, and contexts including traditions related to each ingredient like shrimping every august, etc.

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