Cajun or Creole? by Don R
Is there a difference between Cajun and Creole cuisine? The short answer is YES if you are familiar with Louisiana cooking or culture. Culturally, the Cajun ancestors migrated to Louisiana from Eastern Canada during the French and English war. Creole describes people who migrated to the New Orleans area from Spain, France and the Caribbean Islands. Just as their history differs, their food uses different flavors.
If you are interested in cooking stew with crayfish or sausage in a pot with lots of cayenne pepper, you would use a Cajun spice mix utilizing the holy trinity: bell pepper, onion, and celery. Spices are stronger to complement wild game and hearty sausages.
On the other hand, Creole cuisine uses the holy trinity but exhibits a lighter flavor to complement milder tasting rice and soup dishes using shrimp, fish and clams.
Here is a “mild” Creole spice mix recipe. If you want to bolster the hotness, add cayenne pepper, more paprika, and deli mustard.
- 2 T dried oregano leaves
- 2 T dried basil (sweet)
- 1 T dried thyme leaves
- 4 T paprika (to taste)
- 2 T onion powder
- 2 T garlic powder
- 1 T black pepper
- 1 T white pepper
- 1 T cayenne pepper (to taste)
- Combine all ingredients and store ini a tightly sealed glass container.
- Some recipes call for chopped parsley in place of oregano.