What Exactly is a Cajun?
Having lived in Louisiana most of my life, I sometimes forget that the rest of the country isn’t familiar with the incredible Cajun culture.
As I’ve traveled around this great nation, people will often ask me why name is spelled Dreux. I always tell them that I’m Cajun. Their response is often “What exactly is a Cajun?”
The answer is an incredible story, and it helps explain why we hold our culture (and our cooking) so close to our hearts.
You see “Cajun” was originally “Acadian” (say it a few times fast with a French accent, and you’ll see how this happened.)
Acadia was an area that included most of the Canadian coast on the Atlantic Ocean. The Maratimes are now more commonly referred to as Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and New Brunswick. It was an area that became populated with French settlers.
Unfortunately, during the French and Indian war, the British conducted The Great Expulsion. This campaign’s sole purpose was to drive Acadians out of the area and away from New France. Between 1755 and 1764, over 80% of Acadians were deported out of their homeland.
For a lucky few, their new home would be found in Southern Louisiana. They joined the Colonial French Settlers and French soldiers long before the Louisiana purchase made us part of the United States. Here, along the bayous, we established our own language (Cajun French), our own music, our own traditions, and of course, our own cuisine.
Today, the Cajun culture is alive and well. People come to our area the world over to enjoy all that Cajuns have to offer. Here, our rich history rings true, from the French-inspired architecture to the cuisine that is unmatched anywhere on earth. If you’ve never enjoyed a large bowl of gumbo, or sat in front of a platter of crawfish étouffée, trust me, you’re missing out.
And while we Cajuns love to cook, we also want to live life, and enjoy our free time. If there’s a way to avoid hassle and save time, you can guarantee that we’ll do it. And that, my friends, is what led me to create C’est Tout…. But that, as they say, is another story.
Until next time,
Chief Chopping Officer