Louisiana Style Cooking

Tuesday, September 21, 2010 @ 04:09 PM

There are many influences that go into Cajun & Creole cooking. Both originated in Louisiana, and were influenced by the many different cultures that had settled in the area. Some of these cultures include The French, Spanish, Portuguese, Africans, and even Native Americans.  Cajun cooking being more influenced by French Provincial peasants, and Creole being developed more in well to do homes, largely in part to slaves’ cooking influences.

Louisiana style cooking was also  influenced by the food available in the area. Fish, shrimp, crawfish, alligator, pork, game, and poultry were available. Gumbos typically contained fish, okra, and ground sassafras leaves for a thickening agent. Other outside inspirations came into play as more cultures moved to the area. Tomatoes, rice, beans, and hot peppers eventually found their way into the mix.  Smoking and deep frying of foods also played an important role and still do today.

One of the facts of this wonderful food, was that you could feed large groups of people with whatever you had on hand. This is when the cooking in large cast iron pots over and outdoor fire came into play. Church socials & political rallies, family reunions & weddings were all places that you could find what we now typically call Jambalaya Pots.

Many of the dishes that have come to be main stay in the area, are a jumbled up mix of both Cajun & Creole example. Regardless of whether it is Cajun or Creole, some wonderful dishes have come down through history and can be found throughout the United States today. Gumbo, jambalaya, & etouffee are no longer just regional favorites of The Louisiana people.There are millions of cookbooks and recipes out there available even to a Northern Yankee like me. They are restaurants all over the nation now serving Louisiana cuisine. The food is easy enough to make at home. You don’t need a large cast iron pot & a wood fire either. You can cook it inside in a slow cooker or on your stove top. If you are cooking for a large group though, get out your turkey fryer kit. You can make a huge pot of jambalaya right in the stock pot over your the outdoor propane patio stove that comes with it.

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5 Responses to “Louisiana Style Cooking”

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