Southern Food and Beverage Museum

SoFAB Institute

Some museums offer a chance to connect with the highest achievements of art and ingenuity, to gaze over priceless wonders or to better understand pivotal moments of human history.

At the Southern Food & Beverage Museum, some of what resonates most richly may be artifacts you once had in your pantry or old brand names whose jingles are still stuck in your head.

You’re less likely to swoon over some rarified treasure as to delight in the recognition of something tied up with your own traditions and ties to the region’s food culture.  

Chris Kehoe

Big news on this week’s Louisiana Eats! We move into our new studios, located in the Southern Food and Beverage Museum on Oretha Castle Haley in Central City.

Nina Feldman / WWNO

Everything about the Southern Food and Beverage Museum is a tribute to the legacy of food in southern states — even its physical building.

Architect Jonathan Tate says the new SOFAB building took on a number of identities over the years. It was originally the Dryades Market. During WWII it was a motor pool for the military; it was a jeweler and the Ocean Seafood Market.

“What we did here in terms of the design is peel all of that away, so what you see here is what the market might’ve looked like in the 1930s,” said Tate.

This week on The Reading Life: We’ll talk with Liz Williams, founder of the Southern Food and Beverage Museum, and library director Charles Brown about the new culinary library the museum is starting with the New Orleans Public Library. And we’ll hear from all around book person Abi Pollokoff — award-winning poet, Tulane Review editor, and Pelican Publishing editor. Susan also reviews the book Alif the Unseen.