Coast Cooking

Cajun and Creole are two different cooking styles

Gumbo can be made in Cajun or Creole styles. Do you know the difference? ‘The Picayune Creole Cookbook’ will set you straight.
Gumbo can be made in Cajun or Creole styles. Do you know the difference? ‘The Picayune Creole Cookbook’ will set you straight. Special to the Sun Herald

If you live along the Mississippi Gulf Coast or surrounding areas, a good Creole cookbook is essential.

There are dozens out there, but I have a few favorites.

Creole and Cajun cooking differ substantially. For instance Gumbo can be made in Cajun or Creole styles. Creole gumbo, usually consists of shellfish, tomatoes and thickener while Cajun gumbo has a darker roux and is spicier with shellfish or chicken.

The two cooking traditions, however, have been blended in the minds of many cooks, and in many cookbooks.

There is nothing wrong with the idea, that is how new cooking styles arise, but you should know which is which. To complicate the matter even more, Southern cooking traditions have been stirred into the same pot. A purist might object to the blending of styles, but I think the combining of these three styles is a pretty marvelous thing.

Never the less, “The Picayune Creole Cookbook” should be on your shelves. First printed in 1900, and then selling for 25 cents, this volume will set you back substantially more today, but it is worth every cent.

  Comments