Why does Louisiana have parishes and not counties? Louisiana was officially Roman Catholic under both France and Spain's rule. The boundaries dividing the territories generally coincided with church parishes. In 1807, the territorial legislature officially adopted the ecclesiastical term. Through each change in her history, Louisiana never deviated and the primary civil divisions have been officially known as parishes ever since.
What are the red tops seen sitting in flooded rice fields? The red tops are the plastic caps on the neck of crawfish traps that our aquaculture farmers use to harvest their crawfish crop.
What are Cajun Reeboks? Cajun Reeboks are the short white boots that mainly fishermen use when working in wet areas. Farmers use a knee high green boot and hunters wear either the knee high or hip boots.
What is "dirty rice"? Dirty rice is simply rice dressing. While some parts of the nation may eat cornbread dressing, Louisianans maintain their love affair with rice. In our section of the country, when we have holiday, Sunday or even everyday meals that include dressing, chances are pretty likely that it will be made with rice. Does Cajun food mean pepper hot? Contrary to popular belief, the majority of Cajun food is not hot. While individual tastes vary in this region like any other, our foods are mostly seasoned and flavorful but not spicy hot. We leave it up to the individual to add their own touch of heat.
What are boudin and cracklins? Boudin is a rice, meat and seasoning mixture that is stuffed into a sausage casing. So, Cajun sausage is a good description. Cracklins are fried pork rinds only much better than store bought. Hint: try them with our local Steen's syrup.
What is gumbo and why is it different than the gumbo served in New Orleans? Gumbo is a flour based soup mixture, made of different main ingredients. While those ingredients vary, they all begin the same. First you make a roux. Then you choose chicken, sausage, shrimp, crab, various seafoods and on and on. Gumbo will always be served with a spoonful of rice in the bowl and a side of potato salad. Unlike New Orleans, which serves Creole gumbo containing tomatoes and okra, southwest Louisiana gumbos are Cajun and contain no tomatoes and okra only when we desire it.
What's the difference between Cajun and Creole cooking? Cajun cooking is country cooking of southwest Louisiana and its gravies, stews and gumbos contain no tomatoes unless we're specifically making a tomato based sauce. New Orleans serves Creole food, not Cajun, which is basically city cooking and they tend to use hotter peppers in their seasoning. Tomatoes are a staple in Creole foods.
How do you make a roux? Our stews and all gumbos begin with a roux. Take equal parts oil and flour and cook over a low fire, stirring constantly, until dark brown combined with a nutty aroma. That's it. Master that and you're well on your way to cooking Cajun