Saturday, May 23, 2015

Louisiana Germans - The Forgotten Creoles

The more research I do on German immigrants to the south the more fascinating facts I find - for instance, some people don't think that German immigrants to Louisiana are "true Creoles." Some folks think that only Louisiana French, Spanish, Native Americans and Africans are worthy of being deemed Creole. To which I call bullshit. Germans came to Louisiana in 1721, preceding both the Spanish and the Cajuns, and founded the city of Des Allemands. Other German speakers from the Rhine Valley, Switzerland and Belgium also followed the same path to form the "German Coast", now the parishes of St. Charles, St. John the Baptist and St. James. The Louisianan Creole Germans founded farms that supplied food to New Orleans and the rest of the Louisiana Colony. Among German Creoles contributions to Louisiana Creole culture: Boudain. Andouille Sausage. Chicken & Sausage Gumbo. Sausage in Red Beans & Rice. Potato Salad with Gumbo. French Bread (baked by Louisiana German Creoles and sold in the French Market, hence the name). French Fried Potatoes (cooked by Louisiana German Creoles and sold in the French Market, hence the name). Creole Potato Chips. Creole Mustard (spicy brown mustard). And - accordions - which would forever change Cajun music and help inspire the creation of Creole Zydeco! All of those things the Germans brought to the Louisiana Colony - I can't imagine not having any of those today. Suggested reading: "The Settlement of the German Coast of Louisiana and the Creoles of German Descent" by John Hanno Deiler.

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