Rendez-Vous #49: Zoom In On Cajun Culture, A Piece Of “French America”
This week, fasten your seatbelts and prepare for a colorful trip to French Louisiana, USA, where the inhabitants are called the Cajuns.
Francophones in Louisiana are descendants of the Acadians expelled from the Canadian Maritime provinces by the British during the “Grand Dérangement” (Great Upheaval) in 1750. After a long journey, they settled in Louisiana, a new colony of the Kingdom of France at the time. More historical details here.
Louisiana cuisine is a tasty mixture of French, Spanish, African and Creole influences. The traditional dish Gumbo is a true melting pot: okra (African spicy vegetables), spices (Creole), roux (French-based sauce), rice and seafood (close to the Spanish paella). If you feel up to trying it, here is the recipe.
Cajun music is the lively, irresistibly danceable counterpart to the region’s spicy cuisine. The upbeat sounds of fiddles, accordions and acoustic guitars ring throughout the dancehalls and restaurants of south Louisiana, and if you spend even just a little time down there, you’re sure to find a party known as the fais do-do (pronounced “fay dough-dough”).
- Tabasco sauce is a product from Louisiana, produced since 1868.
- Cajuns speak the Cajun French, derived from the original French spoken by soldiers and settlers in Louisiana before the arrival of the Acadians. About 8% of the population speaks French fluently nowadays.
Newsletter #49: Zoom In On Cajun Culture, A Piece Of “French America”