When those in France who were destitute were offered a home in French-speaking Louisiana by the Spanish, many accepted, and by they had begun to found settlements deep in the swamps and bayous around New Orleans. They quickly adapted to the rough life and happily lived off the bountiful fresh foods that the wetlands provided.
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Today the Acadians in Louisiana, now called Cajuns, number perhaps three-quarters of a million and many still speak a French somewhat akin to that of the seventeenth century. In the fifteenth century Columbus had brought yams, tobacco, kidney beans, maize, and red pepper back to Southern Europe and North Africa. The Italians and Spanish adored it: the French and English thought it was poisonous.
The Spaniards brought their love for peppers and the tomato back with them to Louisiana, and they began the practice of adding green pepper to sauces and meat dishes, which would arrest the growth of bacteria, reducing the spoilage that was a constant problem in those days before refrigeration. When coupled with the roux, the tomato became the integral ingredient in shrimp Creole sauce; in the rich gravy for grillades; and in the base for courtbouillon, a thick seafood stew similar to bouillabaisse.
The Spanish paella, a rice and shellfish dish, became the forerunner of Creole jambalaya. The Cajuns were economically, culturally, and geographically cut off from the more cosmopolitan areas.
We ate what was in season, which could mean that we ate crawfish daily for weeks. From the Spanish period onward, no matter how poor, each household could easily grow one or two varieties of hot peppers. Eating pickled and raw pepper is still a popular south Louisiana barroom sport, a proof of manhood.
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If the Spanish influence was ever in danger of fading, the Mexican War reversed the trend. Hundreds of Louisianians went off to Mexico in the Os and returned home with a renewed passion for the pepper. One of these men brought the Mcllhenny family of Avery Island some special Mexican pepper seeds. The result was Tabasco sauce, which now sells more than seventy million bottles annually. Political turmoil throughout the world played an important part in refining the culinary style of the Creoles.
Aristocrats fleeing the French Revolution brought a renewed dose of haute cuisine. Those from the West Indies and Santo Domingo brought with them techniques for the preparation of fish with a Spanish flavor. In the late nineteenth century, New Orleans also became a disembarkation point for Sicilians arriving in America, and they brought along their rich red gravies and dishes using garlic and bread crumbs, such as stuffed artichokes and eggplant, which, in Louisiana, became the stuffed Indian mirliton.
Yugoslavs from the Dalmatian coast were working the local oyster beds as early as Their expertise was so great that, by , the local business directory had to give five pages over to oyster bars, oyster houses, and restaurants specializing in oyster dishes. Even Asians played a part in the diet of Louisiana. The new process made it possible to have shrimp year round. Between and Creole society flourished, and Creole cuisine, as it is known today, became firmly established. By New Orleans was the fourth largest city in the United States, the second largest port, and an economic center that attracted businessmen from all over the world.
It was one of the first cities in the country to have public restaurants, and its hotel dining rooms served continental and Creole cuisine. The menu is still in French with no explanation of dishes. The food is prepared in the authentic, nineteenth-century style—much heartier, richer, sweeter, and oilier than the culinary style of today.
Creole cooking might have gone full circle and become just another outgrowth of the aristocratic gastronomy of Europe had not the Civil War come along and changed the household economy of the Creoles. Suddenly the French-speaking Creoles had to take a backseat to the influx of Americans and the Reconstruction government. John Beierle, Coverage Date: The date or dates that the information in the document pertains to often not the same as the field date.
Coverage Place: Location of the research culture or tradition often a smaller unit such as a band, community, or archaeological site Breaux Bridge St. Copy and paste a formatted citation or use one of the links below to export the citation to your chosen bibliographic manager. Page Focus. Untitled Section Cajuns And Crawfish 5. Bibliography Index Cross Reference.
Cajuns NO12 Subjects: Document-level OCM identifiers given by the anthropology subject indexers at HRAF History and culture change ; Total culture ; Food quest ; Food preparation ; Gratification and control of hunger ; Diet ; Eating ; Rest days and holidays ; Spectacles ; Visiting and hospitality ; Ideas about nature and people ; Abstract: Brief abstract written by HRAF anthropologists who have done the subject indexing for the document 'Cajun Foodways' is about the relationship between Cajun food and ethnic identity.
Monograph Language: Language that the document is written in English Note: Includes bibliographical references p. John Beierle, Coverage Date: The date or dates that the information in the document pertains to often not the same as the field date. For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.
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The author takes into account the modern regional popular culture in examining traditional foodways of the Cajuns. Cajuns' attention to their own traditional foodways is more than merely nostalgia or a clever marketing ploy to lure tourists and sell local products.