Food holds an important aspect of everyone’s life. Over the centuries, culture, technology, and society have greatly impacted the food we eat today.
But people have not yet forgotten their ancestor’s way of cooking. Those spices, ingredients, preservations, and sauces are still used in food cuisines all over the world.
The food industry has grown into a million-dollar industry now. The restaurants and cafes all around the world offer unique cuisines but also offer the traditional cuisines of different parts of the world.
Two of the cuisines carrying a rich history with them till today are Cajun and Creole cuisines. They are often considered the same food, but there are subtle differences you may want to know when next time you intend to try any of those.
Cajun vs Creole Food
The difference between Cajun and Creole food is that Cajun food is referred to as country food while Creole is referred to as city food. So the difference between them relates to the history behind the two cuisines. For the preparation of Cajun cuisine, people used to use the spices available for seasoning their food.
For the preparation of Creole cuisine, people had access to local markets and the servants of rich houses would prepare it for them. The other differences lie in the cultural heritage and seasoning methods which will be shown in the comparison table below.
Comparison Table Between Cajun and Creole Food (in Tabular Form)
|Parameter of Comparison||Cajun Food||Creole Food|
|Cooking style||Defined as the country food cooking style.||Defined as the city food cooking style.|
|Ingredients||Made using local ingredients of Louisiana agriculture.||Made using a mix of ingredients from different parts of the world.|
|Use of tomatoes||Cajun cuisine has tomato-free sauce.||Creole cuisine incorporates tomatoes.|
|Roux||Made using flour and oil.||Made using a mixture of flour and butter.|
|Classic dishes||Crawfish, jambalaya, maque choux, boudin balls.||Chicken Creole, shrimp Creole, eggs Sardou, bread pudding.|
What is Cajun Food?
Cajun food is traced back to be called as the country food. Cajun food originated in French culture. Later, after the British takeover in the 1700s, these people settled into the swampy areas of Louisiana.
As they did not have access to expensive ingredients nor could they import it from any other parts of the world, they used the fresh spices available in the Louisiana culture like onion, bell pepper, and celery.
Cajun people did not have access to new technology so for the preparation of their food; they could not use refrigerators for preserving their food or to make butter.
That is why; Cajun roux is made using flour and oil. But they developed their innovative methods for preservation over time using smoke and salt. They also utilized all the organs of the slaughtered animal to ready their dishes. According to New Orleans chef Mark Falgoust,
“Cajun folks used one chicken to feed three families, Creoles used three chickens to feed one family”.
This just means that Cajun folks did not use to waste the skin and meat of the animal but tried to cook the maximum out of it. They were not living in wealthy houses to afford more animals but had to hunt for the food and ingredients to make their special Cajun food.
What is Creole Food?
Creole food is traced back to be called as the city food. Creole refers to the French people and settlers of New Orleans. Creole food has a rich history full of culture, spices, and seasoning methods. Creole food was prepared by using ingredients grown and cultivated in the Caribbean, Europe, and Africa.
Okra, limes, whiskey, and vanilla were brought to New Orleans and made their way into Creole cooking. So, Creole food is considered to be a more varied cuisine than Cajun food.
Creole people were a bit advanced as they had ice cube boxes and refrigerators so they could make butter. So, Creole roux is made using flour and butter. To differentiate between Cajun and Creole cuisines, they also do a tomato-test. Generally, it is said that Cajun sauce is tomato-free while the Creole cuisine incorporates them into their dishes.
The servants in the wealthy houses used to make Creole food so they had enough resources and abundant ingredients. They would import spices from different parts of the world to make their sauce and soups into a truly unique cuisine. Creole food is a combination of various cultures with a rich history like Italian, German, African, Spanish, and Portuguese.
Main Differences Between Cajun and Creole Food
Some of the features that differentiate between Cajun and Creole food are given below:
- Cajun food is referred to as the country food while Creole is referred to as the city food.
- Cajun food was made using local ingredients of the Louisiana agriculture while Creole food was made using special ingredients from different parts of the world.
- Cajun cuisine is free of tomatoes while Creole cuisine uses a lot of tomatoes.
- Cajun roux is made of flour and oil whereas Creole roux is made of flour and butter.
- Some classic dishes of Cajun include Crawfish, Jambalaya, Maque choux, and Boudin balls. Some classic dishes of Creole include Chicken Creole, Shrimp Creole, Eggs Sardou, and Bread Pudding.
Cajun and Creole cuisines originally belong to very distinct cultures. Though with time, the two cuisines begin to blend well and there are some places where you can taste the real Cajun and Creole food.
The state of Louisiana is still known for offering these two types of cuisines. It is this one place where you can taste these dishes in their true taste and ethnicity.
Even after lots of new generations and changes in cultures and environments, it is always nice to see people keeping their traditional cuisines alive and staying true to their roots.