The Difference Between Creole and Cajun
Creole: a person of European descent born in Louisiana. Creole cuisine is the basis for Cajun cuisine.
Cajun: a person of French-speaking heritage born in Louisiana. The term “Cajun” comes from “Acadian”, the name of the original French settlers of Nova Scotia. Cajun culture is derived from the blending of Acadian, Native American, African and German traditions.
Creole vs Cajun Cooking
Cajun and Creole are two similar but different names for two groups of people in Louisiana who share a common cultural heritage. Cajun is generally used to describe the French-speaking people of southern Louisiana; Creole is generally used to describe the English speaking people of Louisiana, although there is some overlap.
The word “Creole”, when used to describe a person, originally referred to someone who was born in Louisiana or spent a significant part of his/her life in the state before 1803 (the year that France sold Louisiana to the United States). It also can be used to describe someone whose ancestors were from Louisiana, even if the person himself/herself was born elsewhere.
In its most narrow sense, however, it refers to those whose families were among the first settlers in Louisiana. Some say that anyone whose family has been in Louisiana for four generations qualifies as Creole, while others say that you have to have been born in Louisiana.
Creole cuisine is essentially Cajun cuisine with some minor differences. Both cooking styles use ingredients readily available in South Louisiana: corn, cabbage, rice, seafood and pork. Both styles are known for their abundance of spices and roux-based sauces. However, where Cajun cooking uses many different
As you may or may not know, I’m originally from Louisiana. I grew up in New Orleans and have lived in Lafayette, Baton Rouge and now Lake Charles. Anytime I meet someone new who is willing to listen for more than 3 minutes, I find myself explaining the difference between Creole and Cajun cooking, but found that most people don’t know the difference. My knowledge of the two is a lot more than most people’s so I figured why not share my knowledge with the world?
I’ll be honest with you. I’m a little biased because Cajun food is just plain good! If a restaurant doesn’t have it, they better make up for it in something else they serve. The only problem with this is that restaurants outside of South Louisiana usually won’t carry Cajun foods. That’s why if you want to try Cajun food, you have to go to a restaurant that specializes in it.*
In Louisiana, Cajun and Creole are not just about food. They are about who we are and where we come from. We celebrate those differences every day, especially in the kitchen. Whether it’s a Cajun spice or a Creole seasoning, each culinary tradition is more than a set of recipes. It’s a set of shared memories that give us strength and identity as a people.
Cajun comes from the word Acadian, which describes the French-speaking (and later English-speaking) settlers who were expelled from Nova Scotia by the British at the end of the 17th century. After they settled in South Louisiana around 1765, they were called Cajuns. That was later shortened to “Cadien,” then eventually to “Cajun.” The word “Creole” comes from the Portuguese word for “native.” A Creole is someone who was born in Louisiana or was born elsewhere but descended from people who were born here before 1765.
The main difference between Cajuns and Creoles is that Cajuns lived in rural areas, raised livestock and fished for food, while Creoles lived in cities and had a more diverse diet (including African slaves). Today there’s no difference between urban and rural lifestyles
Cajun food is a type of traditional cuisine of the Louisiana area. It’s a unique blend of French, Native American and African cultures. Cajun cuisine is strongly influenced by the French, who settled in this part of America in the 17th century. It has a little bit of spice to it but can be prepared in non spicy ways for those who prefer that.
The Cajuns’ ancestors were Acadians from Nova Scotia, Canada who settled in southern Louisiana in the 18th century. They brought with them their love for poached fish and seafood dishes. Their traditions also included stews, soups and fricassees served over long-grain rice, which is still a staple of Cajun cooking today. Cajun cuisine has grown quite popular throughout America and can be found on restaurant menus all over the country today.
The Cajun people make up the largest ancestral population in Louisiana. One of the most important components of their culture is its culinary heritage. The cuisine developed over many years, and it has a long history of mingling French, Spanish, African American and Native American influences.
Taste is subjective, but there are some spices that define what we think of as “Cajun” food. These spices include:
1. Spice blends (e.g. Tony Chachere’s)
2. Red pepper
5. Celery salt