Cajun Spice Article -
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Cajun Spice


There are many Cajun seasoning blends on the market today, all with their own distinct characteristics. Most are boldly flavored and sassy and representative of Cajun cooking in general. A Cajun seasoning blend might include garlic, onion, cayenne pepper, black pepper, dry mustard, paprika, thyme, cumin and/or celery seed.


Cajun seasoning is used heavily in gumbo, jambalaya and blackened fish dishes, as well as for spicing up boiled shrimp and crawfish, French fries and sauces.


Today's Cajuns are descendents of French-Canadian settlers who had taken up residence in the Louisiana bayous, brought their own flavors to the party. Original masters of the one-pot meal, these locals created a cuisine all their own based on native herbs, game, and vegetables. Cajun cooking, a combination of French and Southern cuisines, is robust, country-style cookery that uses a dark roux and plenty of animal (usually pork) fat.


    Brownish Red

    Flavor & Aroma

    Composed of many different spices, Cajun spice is a complex blend of spicy, earthy, pungent, and grassy.

    Sensory Profile

    Cajun spice characterizes the bold flavors of Cajun cooking.

      Oct. 8, 2009 1:58 pm
      very helpful
      Oct. 31, 2009 1:43 pm
      Great finding out how to make "cajun chicken" after I had to give up searching the Norwegian web.
      Apr. 1, 2010 9:40 am
      Can anyone share with me a good dry cajun spice recipe to coat deep fried chicken wings with?
      May 10, 2010 8:43 am
      I was taught to cook cajun by cajuns in east Texas around Lake Livingston, but being a Texan and a cook who uses spices, I thoroughly agree with THEDAD. For some reason people assume spicy means hot,( lots of peppers). spicy is pungent flavors from the spices used, cumin, ginger, cinnamon, to name a few are pungent and yes all 3 are also hot. My spice cabinet looks like that in the grocery store and very few are blends.
      Jun. 12, 2010 8:49 am
      This was very helpful and I'll be using this article, and it's comments, in the near future, I'm sure.
      Jun. 30, 2010 5:33 am
      Does anyone have their own mix of "cajun" spices that they are willing to share?? I have tried some prepared Cajun blends and find them way too salty or lacking in flavor.
      Oct. 23, 2010 9:16 am
      since THEDAD is the genuine article, do you have a recipe for making the actual canjun spice that could be be added to recipes that would give me the amount of spiciness I want for each dish?
      Oct. 24, 2010 3:32 pm
      I was about to say the same thing as John. I prefer to add individual spices to food - but would greatly appreciate some guidance as to what spices to add to what dish; and in what quantities. I'd be most grateful :)
      L'e Chef 
      Jan. 16, 2011 10:48 am
      I spent alot of time down in LA and agree with THEDAD. I am also a Southern Gal that already cooked with alot of spices but I travel the states ALOT and have found if you ask for a cajun dish anywhere you will be over powered with not spicy but HOT peppers. I don't understand where they come up with the idea that it's supposed to be so hot it will burn the skin off your tongue. They've obviously never had a REAL Cajun meal... ;)
      Feb. 18, 2011 2:17 pm
      Emeril's ESSENCE Creole Seasoning (also referred to as Bayou Blast): 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika 2 tablespoons salt 2 tablespoons garlic powder 1 tablespoon black pepper 1 tablespoon onion powder 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper 1 tablespoon dried oregano 1 tablespoon dried thyme Combine all ingredients thoroughly. Yield: 2/3 cup Recipe from "New New Orleans Cooking", by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch
      Mar. 4, 2011 7:11 am
      Thank-you for the info, I am always a little leery of using seasoning packages and often make my own. I now have the basics for making my own Cajun spice, thank-you again.
      Mar. 15, 2011 2:28 pm
      Thank you, Millie!
      Apr. 23, 2011 12:23 pm
      2 teaspoons salt 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon garlic powder 1 tablespoon and 2 teaspoons paprika 1 teaspoons ground black pepper 1 teaspoons ground white pepper 1 teaspoon celery salt 1 teaspoon ground cumin 2 teaspoons onion powder 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper 2-1/2 teaspoons dried oregano 2-1/2 teaspoons dried thyme Optional- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger or 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (Cut pepper for milder and white pepper have a slower burn than cayenne use accordingly)
      May 21, 2011 7:25 pm
      What everyone doesn't realize is that most folks want to be associated with Cajun Cooking cause they know how great the flavor is. But most of it is all talk. Most Cajun recipes are handed down from generation to generation and each adds it's own ingredient to the recipe. Thats why most Cajuns don;t really know all of the ingredients or won't tell.
      Jun. 8, 2011 8:09 pm
      I'm a Yankee, but have lived in the South most of my life and have learned to savor the complex blends of many spices associated with "cajun food." Each dish needs to be treated differently, so oysters are spiced according to how they are cooked. Same for gator, shrimp, pork, beef and beans. They ain't no one size fits all cajun spice. Try one thing, if it doesn't work don't try it again. Tweek.
      Feb. 15, 2012 5:50 pm
      The best cajun seasoning i have ever had, is from it is really spicy and makes everything you use it on taste so good. you don't need much but if you want more spice you add a little more.
      Apr. 17, 2013 6:45 pm
      I personally don't like using onion powder or garlic powder. They can easily be overpowering and don't add proper flavors to your dishes. If a recipe doesn't call for onion or garlic (very few of mine don't) then you don't want to have those flavors present. If they DO call for those ingredients, there is no need to add dehydrated, the rehydrated ingredients. Fresh flavors are always best and easy to incorporate. Southern food in general is kind of a hodge podge of ingredients that a cook has on hand and as stated before, seasoning varies depending on ingredients. Cajun and creole food has a lot of seafood which is complimented nicely with celery. I prefer to use minced, fresh celery rather than celery salt, sea salt is much better and a more delicate flavor that won't kill you or your food. Ground sage is an excellent spice for cajun cooking. It has a more subtle, earthy flavor than cumin, though cumin does have it's place as well. Cumin is great in gumbo and other soupy dishes wherea
      Jun. 6, 2013 8:06 pm
      @THEDAD: Having not been privileged with Cajuns in the family until after having married one, I often found that his tastes are close to the spice levels of good Mexican, or Italian food so that if I have an idea of what spices to use can usually get the ratio right enough to make it taste okay. Just sometimes I will err on the side of lower spice to keep from overdoing it, I say I cook a Southwestern version of Cajun, but the husband likes it and has passed on to his kids the love of well spiced foods. I a wish I had a Cajun other than my husband who can barely cook to ask for advice. Until then I just go with the recipes I can find. His mom sent me a few before she passed and those are mainly for gumbo which I don't seen to be able to master. I do the best I can with what is locally available. Markets in my small town finally carries Andoullie (sp) sausage.
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