Cajun or Creole Food – Do You Know the Difference?
We do love our food here in the Bayou State, and it's a very important part of our social structure. And believe it or not, how you cook has a lot to do with where you grew up in Louisiana. Most of us that live here know the difference between Cajun food, and creole food. But with summer in full swing and lots of out of state visitors, it's a safe bet that not everyone knows the delicious difference. And by the way, I love them both!
I always heard when I was younger, that Cajun food was 'country' and Creole food was 'city', and that still seems like a pretty good analogy! LouisianaTravel.com has a great article that lets you know about the various cuisines we have here in Louisiana and tells us what the differences are between the two distinct types of Louisiana food.
I always think of Cajun cuisine as having a lot of vegetables, because it originates from rural areas, and creole cuisine has lots of Italian and tomato based dishes. I mean, a lot of folks in Acadiana make their gumbo with okra, and you hardly ever see that on New Orleans menus. And that is just one of the differences. I also think it's a cultural thing, and what you like depends on where you grew up, too. You can only get cajun or creole food right here in Louisiana, which makes us unique.
Pass this along to all your out of state friends, and happy eating, y'all! Below is a short list of some of my own personal observations about the difference between Cajun and Creole dishes.
- Dishes are made with the Cajun 'trinity' - onions, bell peppers, celery
- Well seasoned, but not necessarily spicy
- lots of flavorful smoked meats
- Garlic and red pepper are used in just about everything!
- Roux is made with butter and flour, not oil and flour, as in Cajun dishes
- Lots of creamy soups and sauces
- Tomato based dishes like gumbo and jambalaya
- Heavy Italian influence on cooking local dishes