This word is thrown around in Louisiana for all sorts of things, but what does it mean?
Cajuns are an ethnic group mainly living in Louisiana and are descendants of Acadian exiles who were French-speakers from Acadia consisting mainly of Nova Scotia, Eastern Part of Quebec, Northern Maine, and some of the Maritime Provinces. The Cajuns settled in four regions of south Louisiana: the levees and bayous (Lafourche and Teche), prairies (Attakapas Indian land), swamplands (Atchafalaya Basin), and coastal marshes (New Orleans area and Houma). When the Cajuns moved to Louisiana, they actually developed their own French dialect call Cajun French and developed a vibrant culture including unique stories, music, and of course cuisine. But, What is Cajun Food?
Early Cajuns did not have modern luxuries like refrigerators so they learned to use every single part of an animal which led to some fabulous creations. One wonderful local favorite is a Cajan sausage called Boudin which consists of pork meat, rice and seasonings stuffed in a casing (many contain pig liver for extra flavor). Have you ever heard of Andouille Sausage? It is a coarse-grained smoked sausage made using pork, garlic, pepper, onions, wine, and seasonings. What makes Cajun food special and have that unique Cajun flare are the seasonings. Most cajun dishes begin with The Holy Trinity which consists of onion, celery and bell pepper. Next, comes the garlic, paprika, thyme, parsley, green onions all of which are combined to create dishes which can only be described as Cajun.
Cajun and Creole are not the same!
Cajun and Creole are two distinct cultures and also have distinct food styles and flavors. Creoles originally came from Europe, primarily French and Spanish, and settled in New Orleans. Creole seasoning primarily relies on herbs like oregano, bay leaf, basil, thyme, rosemary, parsley and paprika. There are a variety of options on the differences of what makes Cajun and Creole food different. However, the best judge for what is the difference lies in your own taste buds.
If you want to try the Original Cajun Restaurant, stop by Mulates Cajun Restaurant. Mulate’s is known as the original Cajun restaurant, famous for preserving and celebrating the food, music and culture found in the small towns and along the bayous of south Louisiana. Of course, it all started in the small Cajun town of Arnaudville where Kerry Boutté grew up. His mother Ida was a renowned Cajun cook. Boutté watched her prepare everything from gumbo and fried chicken to fried calf’s brain and corn maque choux. He didn’t learn how to cook at her stove, but he learned how to appreciate good cooking. All of the recipes on Mulate’s menu find their roots in Ida Boutté’s kitchen.