In this article, we’re diving into the history and as well as an explanation of Cajun food. It’s a beloved cuisine that we know many enjoy but is often misunderstood. We’d also like to highlight the Cajun dishes available from our menu, so you can give them a try if you haven’t yet!
The Evolution of Cajun Food
Before we dive into the delicious Cajun options available from Felix’s BBQ With Soul, we’ll be discussing the origin of Cajun food and culture.
The term “Cajun” was derived from the French term “Acadien”, which was used to refer to people from Acadie. Eventually, this group of people settled in South Louisiana in the late 1700s. They brought their language, culture, and food traditions with them, and created the foundation of what we now know as Cajun cuisine.
This foundation included resourcefulness because Acadians lived a rural lifestyle. This means that they had to make do with what their environment provided them with. This meant fishing and hunting both to make a living and keep their families fed. Because of this, they commonly cooked with lobster, fish, corn, mirlitons, crawfish, and even alligator.
However, Acadians can’t take full credit for Cajun food. For example, Cajun classic Jambalaya evolved from paella, a Spanish dish that was introduced to Louisiana during Spain’s rule of the area. In addition to this Spanish influence, dishes like Gumbo and the popularity of seafood in Cajun cuisine can be attributed to the influence of Native Americans living in the area. Finally, okra, a crucial component of both Cajun cuisine and Soul Food, was brought to the region by enslaved Africans.
What Defines Cajun Cuisine?
We now know how Cajun food was introduced to Louisiana and how multiple influences came together to shape it into the food we know and love today, but what truly defines Cajun cuisine? We’ll do our best to describe what makes Cajun food with help from NewOrleans.com and the New Orleans Historic Collection, a Museum and research center based in New Orleans.
First, it’s important to understand the overlap between Cajun food and Creole food. These cultural identities are closely tied together, so it’s no wonder that their cuisine is as well. Because of this, it’s not always so easy to determine whether a dish is Cajun or Creole.
These foods are often differentiated by the location they originated from. Cajun food is linked to the rural prairies and bayous of South Louisiana, while Creole food is linked to New Orleans. There are other differences as well, such as how these foods are cooked. Creole cooking tends to involve multiple pots and sauces, while Cajun cooking is known for being simpler and made up of one pot meals. You’ll also find more spices in Cajun dishes than Creole. Cajun meals also typically feature plenty of smoked meats, as these dishes are fairly meat-focused.
Something that can be found in both Cajun and Creole dishes, though, is a combination of ingredients known as the “holy trinity”: chopped green peppers, onions, and celery. Cajun dishes also usually start with a dark roux, which sets them apart from Creole dishes.
Cajun Dishes You Can Find on Our Menu
Although we may call it “Louisiana Creole Soul”, you’ll find plenty of Cajun dishes on our menu, like Shrimp and Grits topped with the holy trinity, Seafood Gumbo made with a foundation of New Orleans roux, and a blend of chicken, sausage, shrimp, white fish, and served over rice. This menu also features our Southern Smothered Oxtails, smothered in a homemade onion and garlic gravy and served over rice or mashed potatoes.
Finally, you’ll also find the Louisiana Cajun Classic, Jambalaya, and Louisiana Cajun Pasta. The Louisiana Cajun Classic features your choice of grilled or fried catfish, topped with a creamy reduction sauce of crab meat, crawfish, and shrimp. Our Jambalaya is made either spicy or mild and features sauteed chicken, andouille sausage, assorted peppers, and onions all in a tomato sauce and served over rice or pasta. The Louisiana Cajun Pasta is a rich pasta dish served with fresh peppers, onions, andouille sausage, shrimp, and diced chicken topped with a reduction of alfredo sauce and Felix’s special homemade spice.
Enjoy Authentic Cajun Food in Southern California at Felix’s BBQ With Soul!
As Chef Millie Peartree wrote, “Food tells stories and sometimes the history makes you appreciate a certain cuisine a little more.” this perfectly summarizes why we feel that it’s important to discuss the history of the foods we serve. All of this food has a deep, rich history, and knowledge of that history provides us with greater appreciation and enjoyment of it. So we hope you’ll stop by to enjoy some Cajun food with us!
When you’re looking for authentic cajun food made with care in San Diego County and Lake Elsinore, visit any of our four locations. At Felix’s BBQ With Soul, our goal isn’t just to provide our guests with great food, but with the Southern hospitality that should go along with Southern food as well. When you step into any of our locations, our goal is to make sure you feel just as comfortable and welcome as you would at home.
Visit us today! You can even order ahead of time online. We hope we’ll see you soon!