The city's culinary cornerstones are Cajun and Creole, two similar yet distinct cooking styles.
Cajun cuisine is a robust mix of French and Southern food. The recipes use simple ingredients and often include a dark roux thickener of flour and pork fat. Cajun dishes include dirty rice, catfish, gumbo (a stew thickened with okra pods) and jambalaya (a rice dish cooked with shrimp, oysters, chicken, or ham and seasoned with herbs and spices).
Most recipes rely on sautéing onions, celery, and green bell peppers (otherwise known as the "holy trinity") and adding a lot of spices and filé powder, which is made of ground sassafras leaves and used as a thickener.
Caribbean, African, French, and Spanish immigrants created Creole cuisine. Creole recipes frequently include butter, cream, and tomatoes. Just like Cajun food, Creole cooking uses sautéed onions, celery, and green peppers and filé powder for thickening. Famous Creole recipes include oysters Rockefeller, bananas Foster, and shrimp rémoulade.