New Orleans has some of the finest food in the world. While there’s a huge variety of cuisines to be found there (including some of the best Vietnamese restaurants outside of Vietnam), the majority of people are most familiar with its two most famous native cuisines: Cajun and Creole. But what are the differences between the two?
Cajun cuisine’s origins lie with the Acadians, who were deported by the British from Canada in the 1700s, eventually settling in the southern half of Louisiana. Today, their cuisine is known for its rusticity and dark roux, with popular dishes including gumbo, jambalaya, crawfish boils, and boudin; Cochon and Jacques-Imo’s are perhaps the best-known Cajun restaurants in the city.
On the other end of the spectrum, Creole cuisine is a fusion of everyone who’s ever settled in Louisiana, with influences ranging from French to Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Native American, and African. It tends more toward classical European styles than Cajun, and was favored by the upper classes. Traditional Creole dishes include oysters Rockefeller, shrimp remoulade, crawfish étouffée, turtle soup, trout meunière, and bread pudding; Commander’s Palace and Antoine’s are two of the more renowned Creole restaurants.
While the two cuisines are different, they do have one thing in common: they’re both ridiculously delicious.