Cajun cooking is a combination of French and Southern cuisines. In 1785, 1,600 French speaking Acadians, forced to leave Nova Scotia by the British, ended up in Southwest Louisiana. Forced to sell the best of what they farmed, fished, or hunted, the Acadians or Cajuns as they became know as, created flavorful and delicious meals from what was left. Traditionally having large families to feed, the Cajuns supplemented rice with white meat, game, or river creatures such as crawfish. Cajun cooking often begins with a dark roux and animal (usually pork) fat. Although it can be spicy hot, it is the flavorful seasonings and ingredient combinations that make Cajun dishes so delicious.
A few favorite Cajun dishes include Gumbos, flavorful Andouille and Boudin sausages, and Crawfish Étouffée. Black-eyed peas, grits, chitterlings, ham hocks, and collard greens are probably the dishes most commonly thought of when we think of 'Soul Food'.