Initially a peasant food, Cajun dishes are from south Louisiana. The food is a product of the ingredients and resources available to rural people. These dishes are highlighted by dirty rice, gumbos, jambalaya, andouille and simple foods such as fried catfish. Cajun cooking traditionally uses pork fat and simpler ingredients–yet the food is flavorful and savory.

Born in south Louisiana, “Creole” initially (i.e., in the 1500s) referred to anyone who was a descendant of French, Spinach or Portuguese settlers. Today, people who identify as Creole are a much broader group, encompassing many different backgrounds. As a result, Louisiana Creole cuisine is influenced by French traditions as well as techniques developed in Spain, Africa, Germany, Italy, Portugal, and the West Indies. Creoles tended to be sophisticated and cosmopolitan, and Creole cuisine evolved in the homes of well-to-do aristocrats or those who imitated their lifestyle. Generally using more expensive ingredients, Creole cuisine is more refined, and includes Oysters Rockefeller, Shrimp Remoulade and Bananas Foster.

Through the years, the food has become intertwined. In the late 70s, the Cajun sensation spread throughout New Orleans, but was always mixed in with the Creole flavors. Today, most people can’t tell the fundamental differences between the two. They just love the tasty, flavorful dishes.

*Image credit Fine Art America, Louisiana Map Painting by Judy Merrell
hand painted map of Louisiana

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Hi, I'm Lee.

I am inspired by my mother, Sally’s, love of cooking and entertaining to gather friends and family together over great meals and conversation. In fact, I held my first dinner party at the age of 16. Throughout the years, I’ve provided recipes, menu advice and cooking tips to friends seeking uncomplicated and delicious ideas for home entertaining.

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  1. Good Morning
    My grandparents, momma, etc. have been in Louisiana for hundreds of years. There is actually a book on our family history. They hailed from France, both sides, on a boat to La.
    We are Cajuns not creole.
    Most of my relatives didn’t even speak English until they were in the mid 20s. Including both my maw maw and paw paw.
    So I am kinda perplexed when you state that “creole” came from Europe. Can you elaborate further on how this conclusion was drawn? Thank you and Kind Regards
    Ps. My family is Daigrepont (they have the book) and Gauthier.
    Thank you in advance and Kind Regards Katina

    1. My research indicates that “Creole” initially referred to anyone who was a descendant of French, Spinach or Portuguese settlers (hence my comment that they are of European descent). Over the years, people identifying as Creole has evolved to include a much, much broader group – encompassing many different backgrounds and cultures. I hope this answers your question! And I’m going to try and find the book about your family.