It comes from Louisiana, but it’s loved around the world.




Cajun food arrived in the US during the mid-19th century, and it retains an exotic mystique. Often mistaken for a style of cooking specific only to Louisiana, it’s actually common across Louisiana and Southern Mississippi. And you’ll find outposts of it across the country, and in French-centric Montreal and Quebec Province.


Cajun cuisine originated with the Acadian settlers, who had been driven from their homes in what is now Nova Scotia, due to conflict with the British (them again, eh?) and settled in the southern Louisiana swamps and marshlands. They melded their food preparation somewhat with the cooking styles of Native Americans.


The Acadian influence on Cajun cuisine is  present to this day. However, over the years it has become much more diverse, with Creole influence and inspirations from France, West Africa and Spain.


And the difference between Cajun cuisine and Creole, since you were about to ask, is that Cajun is spicier and originates from rural communities and features pork and (understandably, given proximity to the Gulf coast) shrimp, wheras Creole is very much from the city, specifically New Orleans, and is more tomato based.



Diverse Ingredients and Dishes


Cajun cuisine is one of the best and most iconic regional culinary traditions in the US. It has always relied on the diverse array of ingredients found in the region, from local fish and crustaceans, to meats and wild game, spices and herbs, and abundant local vegetable crops.


Most popular dishes include the immortal jambalaya (now you know where that’s from). Check out this Cajun menu for more classic dishes.






Over the years, traditional Cajun ingredients such as sausage, rice, peppers, okra, and more have changed and adapted to local ingredients and traditions. This evolution of recipes has resulted in an incredibly versatile and flavorful food culture. The food has become even more popular due to the spread of dishes and baked goods such as gumbo, and beignets, those sinfully good deep fried, square dough confections doused in powdered sugar.


As Cajun cuisine continues to evolve exponentially, chefs are bringing their unique flavor profiles to the table in creative new ways across America. Modern Cajun cuisine has also profoundly influenced overall Southern cooking, probably, in our humble opinions at least, the most flavorful food in the country.


There are plenty of cajun restaurants around Louisiana and across the South, and dotted elsewhere in the US, but you can try it at home for yourself too! See the recipes link above. Go on, give it a shot!