The Cajuns cooked with joy and love as their most precious ingredients, a joy brought about by reunion, in spite of the tragedy that befell them. To cook Cajun is to discover the love and experience the joy of the most unique American cuisine ever developed.
Cajun cuisine is characterized by the use of wild game, seafoods, wild vegetation and herbs. From their association with the Indians, the Cajuns learned techniques to best utilize the local products from the swamps, bayous, lakes, rivers and woods. Truly remarkable are the variations that have resulted from similar ingredients carefully combined in the black iron pots of the Cajuns.
Jambalaya, grillades, stews, fricassees, soups, gumbos, sauce piquantes and a host of stuffed vegetable dishes are all characteristic of these new Cajun "one pot meals".
From the Germans, the Cajuns were reintroduced to charcuterie and today make andouille, smoked sausage, boudin, chaudin, tasso and chaurice, unparalleled in the world of sausage making.
Cajun cuisine is a "table in the wilderness", a creative adaptation of indigenous Louisiana foods. It is a cuisine forged out of a land that opened its arms to a weary traveler, the Acadian.
So as you can see, South Louisiana has two rich histories and two unique cuisines: the Creole cuisine with its rich array of courses indicating its close tie to European aristocracy, and Cajun cuisine with its one pot meals, pungent with the flavor of seafood and game. No wonder you want to cook Cajun and Creole!
"We may live without poetry, music and art; We may live without conscience and live without heart; We may live without friends, we may live without books; But civilized man cannot live without cooks. He may live without books, what is knowledge but grieving.' He may live without hope, what is hope but deceiving? He may live without love, what is passion but pining? But where is that man who can live without dining?" Owen Meredith
Chef John D. Folse Cec, Aac; shared by Fred Towner; Mm by Dorothy