Delicious Cajun Food: A Cuisine with a Flavor as Rich as Its History
There's food and then there's comfort food—the type of cooking that feels like a warm hug for your soul. And when it comes to comfort food, there's no cuisine more popular than Cajun cooking. And as you'll see, this tradition has a very interesting—and delicious—story to tell.
A Deep History
Cajun cuisine started when the English exiled the French citizens who were living in Nova Scotia at the time. These displaced people eventually found their way and settled into Louisiana. They relied on seafood, game, fish, and vegetables as ingredients, and cooked them in a culinary tradition rooted in Southern France. Since they lived in impoverished conditions at the time, they cooked hearty meals in a single pot—an easy and efficient way of feeding many people at the same time.
Rice and Shine
Rice plays a very important role in Cajun cuisine. In fact, Louisiana residents, who originated Cajun cooking, consume more rice than any other Americans. The reason is simple. Rice served as a convenient extender for dishes—just add a few cups of rice to a stew and you effectively double its servings. Indeed, Cajun cuisine is a testament to both ingenuity and great taste in food!
Holy Trinity of Seasonings
Another key feature of Cajun cooking is the well-known trifecta of bell peppers, onions, and celery. You'll find these in just about Cajun dish, including the much-loved gumbo. Aside from the Holy Trinity, Cajun cooks commonly add cayenne pepper and garlic to season their food.
A Thing Called Roux
Roux—pronounced as “roo”—is a gravy-like mixture made from flour, fat, and water. This serves as a base for many Cajun dishes, lending it a rich, comforting taste.
Crawfish or Bust
Crawfish figure prominently in Cajun dishes as well. These crustaceans live in freshwater and are closely related to the lobster. A major highlight of a Cajun dining experience is a crawfish boil, where you get down and dirty peeling away the critter's shell, before sucking out its succulent flesh.
If all this information has you craving for the down-home goodness of Cajun cuisine, don't worry. There are restaurants in Houston that specialize in Cajun food, allowing you to enjoy the rich taste and history of this cuisine without having to leave the state.
Secrets of Creole and Cajun Food, thedailybeast.com
Cajun Food History and Louisiana Creole Cuisine History, ethnic-spicy-food-and-more.com