Cajun cuisine is popular for its spices and seafood-intense cooking. Here is the interesting backstory behind its origin.
When we mentioned Cajun, we know your mind went straight to Barbecue Nation’s ‘Cajun Potatoes’. The simple yet decadent dish elevates the buffet to a whole new level. But have you ever wondered why the dish is called ‘Cajun Potatoes’? Where did it get its name from? If not, we have got you covered with everything you need to know about Cajun cuisine. The cuisine was developed in the southern reaches of the US after the Acadian immigrants fled Canada. Often called the ‘Cuisine of the peasants’, Cajun cuisine was developed to adapt to the cultural and geographical changes off the land.
Upon researching about the founders of this cuisine, I came to know that the Acadians were the original French settlers in Canada. They immigrated to Canada in the early 1600s, the immigrants survived on everything that was readily available to them. They gathered whatever they could from the land and the sea and started cooking them like most peasant-style French countryside dishes- meat and vegetables cooked in a thick sauce in a single pot. Their cuisine evolved in 1755 when they refused to swear alliance to the British crown and more than 14,000 of them were deported. Most of these deported immigrants settled in Louisiana.
These immigrants applied the same style of cooking for anything that the environment provided them in the southern parts of the US. The prime ingredients were seafood like crawfish, alligator, crabs, shrimps and anything that was caught in the Gulf of Mexico. These kinds of seafood were completely different from what they were consuming in the North Atlantic. The culinary changes began with the substitution of potatoes with rice, bell peppers with carrots and the introduction of spices like cayenne and black pepper.
Cajun dishes are still deeply rooted in seafood. They use the “Holy Trinity” of onions, celery and green bell peppers for almost every dish. A spice mix of cayenne pepper, paprika, oregano, black pepper and so on is vital to the cuisine.
Now that you know the history of Cajun cuisine, why not try some Cajun dishes at home too? Click here to check out some delicious Cajun dishes to tantalize your palate.