But we have to start with the BASIC VOCAB... What the heck is a Cajun?! (although my father-in law insists that we are a form of Indians...right down to the FEATHERS... WE ARE NOT.)
A spicy country sausage used in Gumbo and other Cajun dishes.
The streams crisscrossing
Delicious sweet doughnuts, square-shaped and minus the hole,
lavishly sprinkled with powdered sugar.
A thick, cream or milk-based shellfish soup, usually made
with crawfish, shrimp or oysters. (but in our house, NEVER
Hot, spicy pork mixed with onions, cooked rice, herbs, and
stuffed in sausage casing. (OMG The Danes need to learn how
to create this...they say they are the Pork Kings, but until
Boudain can be found in the local butcher shop, I say that
DK is still a bit incomplete on the meat-front!)
French for "stuffed”, it is the name of a Cajun card game which
requires the loser of a hand to stuff the pot with chips. We
actually had a Bourree group in Dallas when I lived there...
wonder if I could get this going in DK???
Café au Lait (kah-fay-oh-lay)
Coffee with steamed milk. No, Starbucks did not create the
Latte concept! We Cajuns have had it for generations. But
perhaps this is why I am SOOO drawn to SB! It's in my
A hot pepper that is dried and used to season many
An herb, the roots of which are dried, ground; roasted and
used to flavor coffee.
BE VERY CAREFUL USING THIS ONE!!!
A controversial term in the Cajun lexicon: to some Cajuns it
is regarded as the supreme ethnic slur, meaning "ignorant,
backwards Cajun"; to others (like me!) the term is a badge
of pride. In
bumper stickers reading "Registered Louisiana Coonass". The
word originated in
myth that Cajuns frequently ate raccoons. Like I said... BE
CAREFUL; I call myself and my family members
"COONASS", but you and I better have a GREAT
relationship before you try it!
A popular breakfast food, made by frying cornmeal and
topping it with milk and/or cane syrup.
A rich, spicy tomato-based soup or stew made with fish fillets,
onions, and sometimes mixed vegetables. The BEST is Catfish
Courtbouillon, but I cannot find a Catfish-like
fish in DK!!
Crawfish resemble lobsters, but are much smaller. Locally,
they are known as "mudbugs" because they live and grow
in the mud of freshwater bayous. They can be served many
ways: in etouffees, jambalaya, gumbos or, simply boiled.
And you know you are a real CAJUN if you are willing
to boil 'em and suck the heads before you eat the tail meat! :-)
The word originally described those people of mixed French and
Spanish blood who migrated from
dwellers. The term has expanded and now embraces a type of
Leftover cooked rice sauteed with green peppers, onion, celery,
stock, liver, giblets and many other ingredients. It is a whole
meal in itself.. .and don't forget to put in the HEART..that is
the best part! Yes, the chicken heart.
A smothered dish usually made with crawfish or shrimp.
Crawfish and Shrimp etouffees are Cajun country specialties.
We even eat it for breakfast over an omelette!
A thick, robust roux-based soup. There are thousands of
variations, such as shrimp or seafood gumbo, chicken or duck
gumbo, okra and file' gumbo. But in my family, we NEVER
make it with OKRA!!
everything into the pot. A rice dish with any combination of
beef, pork, fowl, smoked sausage, ham, or seafood, as well as
celery, green peppers and often tomatoes.
Joie de Vivre (zhwa-d-veev)
An attitude towards life
Laissez les bon temps rouler
(lay-zay lay bon ton rule-ay )
Let the good times roll! This was the THEME for Mads'
Birthday party last month! And it's the theme at Mardi Gras, too!
Maque Choux (mock-shoo)
A dish made by scraping young corn off the cob and smothering
the kernels in tomatoes, onion, and spices. A STAPLE in our
house! We never eat just REGULAR OL' Corn!
Mardi Gras (mardi graw)
Commonly known as Fat Tuesday, it is the day before Ash
Wednesday, the first day of the Roman Catholic season of Lent.
It's also the day of the Biggest Party on Earth!
A sandwich extravaganza that began as a five-cent lunch for
poor boys. Always made with French bread (not like what we
call French bread in DK!), the best po-boys are stuffed with
shrimp and spread with REMOULADE...again, NOT like what
we have in DK!
The sweetest of sweets, this
patty made of sugar, cream and pecans. (Savannah, GA
claims they created the praline, but we know the truth!)
Red Beans & Rice
The traditional Monday meal in
cooked with ham or sausage and seasonings, and served
over rice. Yes, it's a whole meal in itself!
Base of gumbos or stews, made of flour, oil, and onions.
A STAPLE that you will find in the back of EVERY
Cajun's fridge. Mads learned LONG AGO that you do
not ever throw it away!
A relatively new kind of Creole dance music that is a
combination of traditional Cajun dance music, R&B, and
African blues. Want to see a sample??
CLICK on this video for the music:
And then here are some pics of our family.... Gettin' down in New Orleans.....
So hopefully now you know a bit more about WHAT/WHO I am and what the heck I am talking about when I get excited describing something related to food......Cajun culture is like nothing else.... and neither are the folks called Cajuns. 100% unique.