Cajun Spices - Do You Know What They Are?

Can't Cook Cajun without these.

Can't Cook Cajun without these.

Cajun spices-do you know what they are?

Cajun cuisine is very popular worldwide and it is dominated by the use of a blend of spices and herbs in the dishes. Cajun spices are what gives this cuisine its characteristic spicy flavor. The staple ingredients of Cajun cuisine consist of rice, corn, beans, tomatoes, onions, sassafras, sugarcane, sweet potatoes and meat along with Cajun spices. One of the most important ingredient in a classic Cajun dish called crawfish boil is crawfish or mud bug which still remains the symbol of authentic Cajun cooking. To any true blue Cajun chef, the chief ingredient of Cajun cuisine is the holy trinity of onion, bell pepper and celery with liberal use of spices like cayenne pepper, bay leaf and thyme. Cajun cuisine has evolved along the years, but it has always remained true to its roots, using locally grown fresh produce with Cajun spices.

Cajun Spice History

The history of Cajun spices in very interesting and as we know, the culture of a place has a very important role in the evolution of any cuisine. This is also true in the case of Cajun spices. Acadian refugees who were driven out of Nova Scotia in the late 1700s were first sent to Maryland and later settled in Louisiana. There they attempted to reunite with families that were torn apart and learned to adapt from their new surroundings. They began a new method of cooking that involved the use of fresh produce with wild game and lots of spices. The early Cajun dishes all used the concept of one pot cooking where the entire meal was prepared in a single pot. Some popular Cajun food recipes that use these spices are jambalaya, gumbos, friscassees and grillades.

Early Cajun one pot cooking of jambalaya, gumbos and fricassees relied heavily on game meats supplemented with rice or corn. Cajun cuisine is recognized by the spices used in it’s dishes. Rice, corn, beans, vegetables and meat have the classic flavor with Cajun spice. The base of Cajun cuisine is the holy trinity of onion, bell pepper and celery, the native French Mire Poix.


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