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Learning to Speak Cajun

If you want to party with the Cajuns, you've got to learn how to talk the talk, I guarantee! Here's a quick tour of many Cajun and Creole terms from A to Z.  Enjoy, you can be one also!

Learning to Speak Cajun from A thru Z
Andouille: (ahn-DWEE or ahn-DOO-wee)- Cajun sausage used as meat in gumbos.

Beignets: ( ben-YAYS) - Puffy, deep-fried pastries served in coffee shops.

Boudin: ( boo-DAHN ) - A white sausage made with rice, pork and chicken. It can range from mild to hot.

Cafe au Lait: - Hot coffee mixed with boiling milk, sometimes flavored with chickory and served with beignets.

Crawfish: - The guests of honor at many New Orleans springtime gatherings, oftenserved on newspaper right from huge pots of spicy boiling water with new potatoes and half ears of corn. The local nicknamefor crawfish is "mudbugs."

Fille': ( fee-LAY ) - Powdered sassafras leaves used to thicken gumbo.

Gumbo: - A Creole-Cajun soup usually made from a roux, seafood, okra, tomatoes and file'; it can also be made with other ingredients such as chicken or sausage. It is served over rice.

Hurricane Mix: - Mix a packet of this powder with some water and booze and relive a truly wicked New Orleans hangover.

Jambalaya: - A Cajun rice dish usually made with seafood and sausage; a close cousin of Spanish paella.

King Cake: - A sweetroll-like cake made in a ring served during Carnival season. It contains a plastic doll, and the person who finds the doll in his or her piece of cake must provide the king cake on the next occasion.

Mirliton: ( merle-a-TON ) - A tropical, pear-shaped squash popular in Louisiana. They are often stuffed with cheese, meat or seafood.

Muffuletta: (muffa-LETTA) - A sandwich invented in the 1930s by Salvatore Tusa, owner of the Central Grocery on Decatur Street in New Orleans. It is made with thick round Italian bread, imported olive oil, several layers of cheeses, ham and salami, and homemade olive salad.

Oysters Bienville: (ben-VILL) - Oysters on the halfshell topped with a rich shrimp, cream and cheese sauce. The dish was invented by "Count" Arnaud Cazenave, founder of Arnaud's restaurant. A legendary dish.

Po-Boy: - A sandwich made with long loaves of French bread filled with meat and gravy or fried seafood. It was invented in New Orleans in the 1920s to feed the "poor boys" who couldn't afford a large meal. Po-boys are served either "dressed" with a full range of condiments (usually mayonnaise, lettuce and tomatoes) or "undressed" (plain). All American Favorite.

Praline: ( PRAW-leen, NOT PRAY-leen) - A confection made of sugar, cream, sugar, butter, pecans and more sugar. Extremely sweet, a few will do!

Remoulade: (ree-moo-LAHD) - A spicy sauce usually made of mustards, horseradish, oil, ketchup, chopped vegetables, eggs and seasonings, usually served over boiled shrimp as an appetizer.

Roux: (ROO) - A gravy made from browning flour in fat. It is used as a base for many Creole dishes such as gumbo and etouffee.

Shrimp Creole: - A sauce of tomatoes and shrimp served over rice.
Tasso - Very heavily smoked beef or pork with a peppery coating,
usually used in tidbit-sized cubes to give a jolt to red beans or other pot food.

Zatarain: - Local maker of cajun spices and hot mustard. Available in most supermarkets; try their creole mustard- its wonderful.

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