Cajun and Creole Cooking Article -
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Cajun and Creole Cooking

Few cities can match New Orleans as a mecca for foodies.

The city's culinary cornerstones are Cajun and Creole, two similar yet distinct cooking styles.

Cajun Cuisine

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.

Creole Cuisine

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.

Nov. 15, 2009 1:54 pm
I am making Jambalaya and Red beans and rice together for a dinner party. What would be a good desert or additional side with this dinner?
Jan. 5, 2010 8:19 pm
Bananas foster is always a good choice. Top with vanilla icecream. It's a sure winner.
Jun. 25, 2010 6:18 pm
I'm from New Orleans and I would say that while bananas foster is a great choice it might be tough to do for a dinner party unless you want to put on a show. To make something before the party try bread pudding topped with a rum sauce. In terms of side dishes we really don't do many sides with those dishes since they are pretty filling.
Aug. 18, 2010 4:08 am
Sorry to contradict you, but I am a 76 year old Cajun and Cajun gumbo very seldom has okra in it. That is Creole gumbo that has okra and tomatoes. Both are very good.
Oct. 20, 2010 7:26 pm
As a native creole, whoever made the distinction between cajun and creole does not have there information correct. In fact, cajun food was never really heard of or even really identified until creole foods were given birth by native creoles who were also of the southern and french decent. The word "cajun" was not even used,only creole, certain folk made the distinction by claiming creole dishes, search your history Che!
Oct. 20, 2010 7:36 pm
Comment added: I attended a creole conference and many folk don't really know the difference between cajun and creole, so they have for centuries tried to take the creole dishes and call them cajun, when in actuality they were not. Folk never even identified themselves as cajuns, they were calling themselves creole and they WERE!
Apr. 8, 2011 4:45 am
OK folks quit doing that. Don't say something isn't without explaining what it is, and why. Explain the difference between Creole and Cajun. A little history would help.
Apr. 21, 2011 7:28 pm
FBingham, Creole is considered upper class or those who think more highly of themselves and their French/Islands background. Cajun is typically what everyone calls those who hail from the bayou country. "Creole" cooking tends to have more French flair, while "Cajun" tends to be more home or country cooking - more relaxed. For the record, my family line is from the bayou. I grew up "down in the Parish" or "down da road" - an area that lays below New Orleans towards the delta.
Jun. 11, 2011 3:53 pm
"Cajun" comes from "Acadian", those French people that were sent here from Acadia (Nova Scotia) when they refused to swear loyalty to the British government. As FBingham said, they primarily made their homes in the less inhabited areas, such as the Atchafalaya Basin. "Creole" referred to the "mixed blood" found mostly in New Orleans (French, Spanish, African, Caribbean). Their ancestors did not come from Nova Scotia but instead from France, Spain, or were slaves. The food can be distinguished from knowing this: Cajun is typically made from ingredients found readily in South Louisiana (shrimp, rice, garden vegetables, etc.) while Creole food has more of a flourish and a noticeable African or Spanish flair. (Remember, New Orleans is and was a port city, so they had access to ingredients those in the Basin did not have.)
Aug. 16, 2011 10:28 am
Yes, mporter gives a good definition of the difference between Cajun and Creole Cooking....both are excellent, just different.
Feb. 15, 2012 12:50 pm
i have never really cooked any creole dishes or cajun.but i do gave a question? or both equally hot and spicey,or is one spicey and not hot.if anyone can help me with the answer i would be very thankfull
Feb. 18, 2012 10:57 am
Plain lettuce and tomato salad with italian dressing is the best side dish
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