Lagniappe -

Creole vs Cajun

What's the difference between Creole and Cajun cooking? 

From my perspective the best way to describe the difference between Creole and Cajun is that Creole is to city food as Cajun is to country food. Both of these styles of cooking rely heavily upon the combinations of onions, celery, and bell peppers, which most chefs refer to as the Holy Trinity. For me I call it the Holy Trinity plus one, garlic. Also the use of Cayenne, we love our spicy hot sauce. Most of our dishes have a little kick to them. The only other difference is Creole cuisine uses tomatoes for many dishes, while Cajun cuisine uses them sparingly. Creole culture has extended so far into the tapestry of the area that there are lots of things classified as Creole. There are Creole horses, Creole roses, Creole cream cheese, Creole tomatoes, and the list goes on. Very often in these cases, the name Creole is used as a descriptive word because it implies that the object is the best of its kind. I am a Creole Chef so I strive to be the best. I don’t say that being vain, but I say this because I put my heart and soul into my cooking. I am very proud of my heritage. I want to thank all of the Grandmothers that welcomed me into their kitchens and taught me what it means to be a Creole cook. All I want to do is put a smile on your face and make you stomp your feet out of gratitude for my cooking. Then I feel I will have done my job

Creole & Cajun Dictionary


Creole (cree-ol)
 Creole in its broadest sense can refer to a variety of combinations of French, Spanish, African, Caribbean, and Native Indian cultures in colonial Louisiana and throughout the south. The word Creole coming from the Spanish “criollo” meaning “created race” was a description given from a Spanish priest to describe the offspring of Spanish, French and Africans from the era of slavery. In early 19th century New Orleans and much of south Louisiana, the term Creole was a way that those “ in and of the colony or “ born differentiated a cultural group blending the rich heritage of African, French, Spanish, Caribbean, and Native Indians.

Cajun (cay-jun)
Cajuns are descendants of Acadians who came from Nova Scotia to LouisianaThe word Cajun began in 19th century Acadie (now Nova Scotia) when the Acadians began to arrive. The French of noble ancestry would say, "les Acadiens", while some referred to the Acadians as, "le 'Cadiens", dropping the "A". Later came the Americans who could not pronounce "Acadien" or "'Cadien", so the word, "Cajun" was born.

Andouille (ahn-do-ee)
A spicy country sausage used in Gumbo and other Cajun dishes.

Bayou (bi-yoo)

The streams crisscrossing Louisiana.

Beignet (ben-yea)
Delicious sweet doughnuts, square-shaped and minus the hole, lavishly sprinkled with powdered sugar.  Sometimes served with café au lait (coffee with chicory and milk).

Bisque (bis-k)

A thick, cream or milk-based shellfish soup, usually made with crawfish, shrimp or oysters.

Bon Appetite! (bon a-pet-tite')
Good appetite - or "Enjoy!"

Boucherie (boo-shuh-ree)
A community butchering which involves several families contributing the animal(s) -- usually pigs -- to be slaughtered. Each family helps to process the different cuts of meat, like sausage, ham, boudin, chaudin chops, and head cheese. Each family gets to take home their share of the yield. This process was done in late fall to provide meat throughout the cold months.

Boudin (boo-dan)
Hot, spicy pork mixed with onions, cooked rice, herbs, and stuffed in sausage casing.

Bourre (boo-ray)
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.

Café au Lait (kah-fay-oh-lay)

Coffee with steamed milk.

Cayenne (ki-yan)
A hot pepper that is dried and used to season many Louisiana dishes.

Chicory (chick-ory)
An herb, the roots of which are dried, ground; roasted and used to flavor coffee.

Couche-Couche (koosh-koosh)
A popular breakfast food, made by frying cornmeal and topping it with milk and/or cane syrup.

Courtbouillon (coo-boo-yon)

A rich, spicy tomato-based soup or stew made with fish fillets, onions, and sometimes mixed vegetables.

Crawfish (craw-fish)
Crawfish, sometimes spelled "crayfish," 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.

Dirty Rice
Pan-fried leftover cooked rice sauteed with green peppers, onion, celery, stock, liver, giblets and many other ingredients.

Etouffee (ay-too-fay)
A succulent, tangy roux-based sauce. A smothered dish usually made with crawfish or shrimp. Crawfish and Shrimp etouffees are New Orleans and Cajun country specialties.

Fais do do (fay-doe-doe)
The name for a party where traditional Cajun dance is performed. This phrase literally means "to make sleep," although the parties are the liveliest of occasions with food, music, and dancing.

File (fee-lay)
Ground sassafras leaves used to season, among other things, gumbo.

Fricassee (free-kay-say)
A stew made by browning then removing meat from the pan, making a roux with the pan drippings, and then returning meat to simmer in the thick gravy.

Gumbo (gum-boe)
A thick, robust roux-based soup sometimes thickened with okra or file'. There are thousands of variations, such as shrimp or seafood gumbo, chicken or duck gumbo, okra and file' gumbo.

Jambalaya (jum-bo-lie-yah)
chefs "sweep up the kitchen" and toss just about 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.

King Cake
A ring shaped oval pastry, decorated with colored sugar in the traditional Mardi Gras colors, purple, green, and gold, which represent justice, faith, and power. A small plastic baby is hidden inside the cake. Tradition requires that the person who gets the baby in their piece must provide the next King Cake.

Lagniappe (lan-yap)
This word is Cajun for "something extra," like the extra donut in a baker's dozen. An unexpected nice surprise.

Laissez les bon temps rouler (lay-zay lay bon ton rule-ay)
Let the good times roll!

Levee (le-vee)
An embankment built to keep a river from overflowing; a landing place on the river.

Maque Chou (mock-shoo)
ung corn off the cob and smothering the kernels in tomatoes, onion, and spices.

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!

Pain Perdu (pan-pear-doo)
Means "lost bread"; a breakfast treat made by soaking stale bread in an egg batter, then frying and topping with cane syrup or powdered sugar.

Pirogue (pee-row)
A Cajun canoe.

A sandwich extravaganza that began as a five-cent lunch for poor boys. Always made with French bread, po-boys can be stuffed with fried oysters, shrimp, fish, crawfish, meatballs, smoked sausage and more.

Praline (praw-leen)
The sweetest of sweets, this New Orleans tradition is a candy patty made of sugar, cream and pecans.

Red Beans & Rice
The traditional Monday meal in New Orleans, red beans are cooked with ham or sausage and seasonings, and served over rice.

Roux (rue)
Base of gumbos or stews, made of flour and oil mixture.

Sauce Piquante (saws-pee-kawnt)
Means "spicy sauce"; is a spicy stew.

Tasso (tah-soh)

Strips of spiced pork or beef which are smoked like jerky and used to flavor many dishes; a sort of Cajun pepperoni.

Vieux Carre (voo ca-ray)
French, meaning "old quarter," and referring to the French Quarter.

Zydeco (zi-de-co)
Zydeco music is a popular accordion-based genre hailing from the prairies of south-central and southwest Louisiana. In the late 1940's, Louisiana's Creole musicians became inspired by the rhythm of blues and jazz played on radio and juke boxes. They eliminated the fiddle and brought out the rubboard (called a 'frottoir') and with the strong influence of the blues and jazz of urban blacks, created the rollicking and syncopated sounds of zydeco. Check out my Boy, Chubby Carrier he  will make you move your feet.

Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band

Check them out on Facebook!/pages/Chubby-Carrier-and-the-Bayou-Swamp-Band-Official-Site/215504295070