Food - Drink
What Are The Differences Between Cajun And Creole Cuisines?
With food like jambalaya, gumbo, shrimp bisque, grillades, crawfish boils, and beignets, the cuisine of New Orleans and Louisiana is famous around the world. However, Louisiana cuisine actually comes from two different cultural traditions, Cajun and Creole, and while there is some overlap, the distinctions between these cuisines are worth noting.
Cajun cuisine developed in the mid-1700s when French-Canadian settlers migrated to Louisiana, bringing with them their rural French cooking tradition. While Cajun food is seen as resourceful country cooking, Creole food is a more cosmopolitan and refined culinary tradition, with roots in the black bowtie restaurants of 18th-century New Orleans.
Cajun cuisine is influenced in a large part by French traditions, but over time Native American, Spanish, and West African influences crept in. On the other hand, Creole food was a blend of global influences like French sauces, African slow-cooking, and Indian spice blends, with Native American, Spanish, Caribbean, Italian, Portuguese, and German notes.
In essence, Cajun food developed as hearty meals for rural families, with unpretentious techniques resulting in dishes like gumbo, jambalaya, and boudin sausage. Creole cuisine is slightly more highbrow, emphasizing rich sauces like the French roux which shows up in Creole gumbo, along with dishes like Creole jambalaya, shrimp bisque, and grillades.