Where Cajun cuisine finds its roots

Cajun cookingAt Huckleberry’s, we’re all about some California cookin’ with a little southern flair. And what’s southern flair without some Cajun kick to it all?

But to really capture the spirit of some Cajun cooking, you’ve got to understand where Cajun cuisine comes from? What were the situations that led to its unique qualities? How did certain main courses cement themselves in the culture?

These questions often hold intriguing answers when looking at the development behind any kind of major cultural area. Sometimes a culture develops around a shared preference for something, while other times it comes about from a lack of options that leaves no room for preference, only necessity. In the case of Cajun food, it’s a bit more of the latter, however the options available to those early settlers of Cajun country turned out to be something pretty alright! After all, here we are trying to capture that same excellence way out West!

Check out this snippet from we found on about the origins of Cajun cuisine to help you get an idea of where this style of food found its roots!

Cajun food is all about using what you’ve got and being joyful about it. That joyful part is a good thing, because the Cajuns—French settlers who arrived in the area in the 1700s after being kicked out of Canada’s Maritime Provinces by the British—didn’t have a whole lot. Everywhere they looked in south Louisiana, they saw water. The marshes were full of alligators, frogs and ducks, the bayous filled with shrimp and crabs, and the estuaries lined with miles of oyster reefs. Those all became the Cajun pantry. Instead of flour, they learned from the American Indians of the Gulf Coast to thicken their stews with filé, ground sassafras leaves. The Indians also taught them about corn, and then, in the 1900s, they discovered rice, the ideal grain for their wet world. Those semi-flooded rice fields doubled as crawfish ponds in the off-season, adding another pillar to America’s greatest indigenous cuisine.

So you see, it all got started by utilizing the surroundings. Throw in a few tips passed down from some other locals, and things all came together quite nicely. Much of it can be summed up by another quote found in that article that simply says, “When your pantry is limited, you learn tricks to make whatever you cook taste extra good.”

We’ve got to say, we’re glad they were able to make something out of what little they had to start off with, and we’re glad to be able to bring some of that southern flair to you!