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Cajun vs. Creole: What’s the Difference?
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Cajun vs. Creole: What’s the Difference?

First lesson when comparing Cajun and Creole cuisines? They are not the same.

Contrary to popular belief, Cajun and Creole cuisines are not the same thing. The names may have become synonymous and interchangeable with each other and Louisiana cooking–but true Southerners know what’s up.

Second lesson when comparing Cajun and Creole cuisines? Tomatoes make all the difference.

Creole cuisine uses tomatoes and true Cajun cookin’ does not. The end. No, I’m just kidding. But, really, how can you tell one gumbo from the other? The use of a red, round veggie. (Or is it a fruit…?) But the

Crawfish: The Lobster of the South
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Crawfish: The Lobster of the South

Fun fact: crawfish is not seafood. Tastes, looks, smells like seafood, but it’s not: it’s freshwater grub. It’s delicious and totally Southern.

Nothing screams Louisiana quite like crawfish. The fish resemble little lobsters and are colloquially called “mudbugs” because they live in the mud of freshwater bayous. (Sounds a little gross, right?) The meat is more tender than your average lobster and has a more distinct flavor than most other seafood.

Crawfish were first harvested by local Native Americans but then later became a key ingredient in Cajun cooking. In Cajun legend from the 1700s, lobsters in Louisiana spoke to

Let’s Talk Cajun
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Let’s Talk Cajun

Cajun = spicy.

And spicy is my middle name.

So, the Cajuns came to Louisiana around the 1700s as Acadians from the French-Canadian region, Nova Scotia. They didn’t come to Louisiana by choice (they were exiled), but they brought with them some French country cooking. In Canada, they lived off the land and ate what was available, mostly meat and vegetables that they cooked in a stew. The Acadians were poor, country folk, and most of their dishes were easy one-pot recipes that were thick and hearty.

In Louisiana, the Acadians found all sorts of new ingredients, like oysters, alligator,