Cajun cuisine is a style of cooking named for the French-speaking Acadian or Cajun settled in the Acadiana region of Louisiana, USA. Many are unaware that the typical Cajun food was developed by refugees and farmers who used whatever they had to feed large families. Cajun cuisine relies heavily on meats, frequently smoked, accompanied by rice or corn. If you’re visiting New Orleans, Louisiana, or Waveland, Mississippi you will find that the menus at restaurants usually contain the favorite Cajun foods.
Cajuns are fond of their spice and rich foods, and since they live so close to the Gulf of Mexico, seafood is a big item in their dishes. Some favorites are crawfish, catfish, crabs, and oysters. Cajun spices always consist of three vegetables. The most desired vegetables that add flavor to Cajun cuisine are bell peppers, onions and celery. A couple of other favorites are cayenne pepper and garlic.
Many Cajun foods are made from a roux, which consist of a base made from flour, fat and water. It is used to make things like gravy, stews, and of course Gumbo. An authentic Cajun meal usually consists of a three-pot affair. One pot is dedicated to the main dish, the other to steamed rice, special made sausages, or some other seafood dish, and the third containing whatever vegetable is plentiful or available.
Some primary Cajun food favorites include Boudin, Gumbo, and Jambalaya. Boudin is a type of sausage made from pork, pork liver, rice, garlic, green onions, and other spices. Boudin balls are commonly served in southern Louisiana. Gumbo is a type of stew that has sausage, shrimp, crab, oysters, and can also have chicken or pork. It also contains tomatoes, okra, and many other spices and seasonings. Jambalaya contains rice, chicken or beef, and/or seafood such as shrimp or crawfish, and almost anything else.
Cajun food hasn’t changed much over the years, but the love of Cajun food is stronger than ever!