Louisiana Cajun cuisine was created by a group of French Nova Scotian residents who were expelled in 1755 by the British. After years of nomadic existence, they settled down in the Southern Louisiana swamplands. They adapted their traditional cooking techniques to make use of the new ingredients in their new home. This is the cuisine of hardworking country people who have adapted to tough conditions. This cuisine is practical and strong, using local ingredients. It can often be prepared as a whole meal in one pot. Acadians were later known as Cajuns for their unique style of cooking.
It can be difficult to find authentic Cajun recipes, since they were passed on verbally from one generation of Cajuns to the next. Each generation adds their own twist to the recipes, so they can change over time. You can find hundreds of recipes for the most popular dishes. The Cajun culture is also evident in the cuisine. Each kitchen adds their own unique touches.
Gumbos, stews and etouffees are some of the Cajun specialties. Cajun cuisine often begins with a “roux”, which is butter or oil that has been cooked with flour. Roux can be used to thicken and add flavor. There are three types depending on how long the roux is cooked. There are three types of roux: light, blond, medium and dark. The medium and light rouxes are used to thicken sauces, etouffees and gumbos. While the dark rouxes are used for flavor.
These common ingredients are readily available in the Southern Louisiana swamplands, and are native to this region. Crawfish, shrimp, oysters and speckled trout are all common in this cuisine. Rice is a common ingredient. Other ingredients that are often used include pork, homemade sausages beans, tomatoes, black-eyedpeas, black-eyed beans, tomatoes, black-eyed okra, figs pecans and oranges. Wild turkey, duck, turtles, and frog are all examples of game that can be used.
Cajun cuisine uses very few spices. Long simmering is what gives Cajun cuisine its unique flavor. Cayenne pepper is a common spice used in this cuisine. Cayenne Chile is the source of this fiery and finely ground spice. It is often used in combination with black and white pepper. File powder, also known as gumbo powder, is another common seasoning for Cajun cooking. This is made from dried sassafras leaf that has been ground. Creole mustard can also be used in many dishes. This is a spicy, local mustard. Tabasco and other hot sauces are common condiments at the Cajun table.
Cajun cuisine is a unique dish in Southern Louisiana. It makes the most of the local resources while still keeping the French influence that the immigrants brought with it many years ago. It’s versatile and adaptable. This cuisine can be prepared in a variety of ways, so you can enjoy a bit of exotic or comfort food. This wonderful style of cooking has something for everyone.