|Cajun or Creole?|
The Louisiana Cajun
The food in South Louisiana is often called "Cajun" or "Creole." With the growing popularity of Louisiana cuisine, these terms have often become confused. Although both are French Louisiana born, they describe quite different preparations. Traditional Cajun food combines simple French country cooking with the whole realm of locally available ingredients such as bay leaves, file powder, and cayenne peppers.
It is a cuisine born of life close to the land, prepared by people who frequently did not have anything except for the abundance of their own fields or gardens. It is highly seasoned, often flavored with onion, sweet green peppers, and celery. Frequently these savory ingredients are slow-cooked in one large pot. Cajun food is not necessarily hot, but if a menu lists an item as such, be forewarned that by anyone else's standards it is probably a three-alarm dish.
Unlike Cajun food, Creole cuisines has its roots in the urban enviroments of New Orleans and the French and Spanish settlements of St. Martinville, New Iberia, and Opelousas. In this sense Creole cuisine who introduced their own recipes and ideas. Creole dishes thus tend to be more complex and use a broader variety of spices, herbs, and sauced than traditional Cajun food.