boudin sausage



boiled crayfish




Cajun cuisine originates from the French-speaking Acadian or "Cajun" immigrants deported by the British from Acadia in Canada to the Acadiana region of Louisiana, USA. It is what could be called a rustic cuisine locally available ingredients predominate, and preparation is simple. An authentic Cajun meal is usually a three-pot affair, with one pot dedicated to the main dish, one dedicated to steamed rice, skillet cornbread, or some other grain dish, and the third containing whatever vegetable is plentiful or available.



 How to make gumbo


The aromatic vegetables bell pepper, onion, and celery are called by some chefs the holy trinity of Cajun cuisine. Finely diced and combined in cooking, the method is similar to the use of the mire poix in traditional French cuisine � which blends finely diced onion, celery, and carrot. Characteristic seasonings include parsley, bay leaf, "onion tops" or scallions, and dried cayenne pepper. The overall feel of the cuisine is more Mediterranean than North American.



 Swamp People: Cooking the Cajun Way


Cajun cuisine developed out of necessity. The Acadian refugees, farmers rendered destitute by the British expulsion, had to learn to live off the land and adapted their French rustic cuisine to local ingredients such as rice, crawfish, and sugar cane. Many households were large, consisting of eight to twelve people; thus, regardless what other vocations may have been followed by the head of household, most families also farmed. Feeding a large family, all of whose members did hard physical work every day, required a lot of food. Cajun cuisine grew out of supplementing rice with what meat, game or other proteins were available.


Cajun Life







In 1948, Robert Flaherty was working on his last film, "Louisiana Story". He was searching for a small boat, or "pirogue" for his young hero. Flaherty soon became aware that pirogue-making was a disappearing art. Finally, when he found Abdon Allemon, a Cajun craftsman, he persuaded him to make the pirogue. It may very well have been the last pirogue made in Louisiana.


     The early Cajun settlers lived off the bounty of the swamp and would harvest crayfish in the spring. In the summer, when water levels dropped, families would hunt and trap. Spanish moss was collected to sell as mattress stuffing . Cajuns traveled on the bayous in pirogues ,small wooden boats pushed with a pole , and are still used today .


A pirogue race with special racing pirogues


During weddings, there would of be a Money Dance, in which guests would pin money on the bride's veil. Another tradition was the la boucherir, a hog slaughter in which the community would gather . Like the Pennsylvania Dutch, the community would come together to help build a barn with les coups de mains ( helping hands ).


Acadians are devout Catholics and the Catholic church played an important part in the community . On All Saints' day, graves of the ancestors were washed and decorated and the priest delivered Mass by candlelight in the cemetery .there are many shrines to the Virgin Mary, the patron saint of the Acadians in the region .


Blessing the shrimping boats in the 1930s


Candlelight ceremony on All Saints Night  on Nov1