Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Stop Calling Creole Culture "Cajun" - It's Not The Same Thang Part 2

The first Africans, both slaves and freemen, came to New Orleans in 1720. From African cooks we get the co-creation and name of the classic Creole dish known as GUMBO - early 19th century: from the Angolan word kingombo "okra." In other words, Creoles invented Gumbo, not "Cajuns." African cooks also contributed new ideas to French dishes such as Etouffee, resulting in the Creole classics Shrimp Etouffee and Crawfish Etouffee. Other Europeans, including Germans, Italians, Swiss, English, Irish, Scottish, Scandinavian and so on, began arriving in New Orleans in 1722. From the Germans, we got potato salad as a side for Gumbo, French/German collaborations on Andouille sausage, French/German collaborations on Boudain and the creation of fried potatoes sold in the French Market that became known as "French Fried Potatoes" and "Creole Potato Chips." From the English, we got battered/fried fish and bread pudding. From the Italians we got loaves of bread sold in the French Market that became known as "French Bread" (German bakers did the same) - as well as the creation of the classic Muffuletta sandwich. And more. All of that is Creole, not "Cajun." The first Spanish came to New Orleans in 1763, bringing more culinary influences, including a popular culinary French/Spanish collaboration called Jambalaya. Again, Creole, not "Cajun."

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