Cajun, the name alone sounds tasty! But what is Cajun spice? And how to cook with it? Well, today we’re telling you all about it.
There are plenty of famous spice blends out there, from the Chinese 5-spice blend to the herbs de Provence, from curry powder to even the Pumpkin spice mix.
With time, we’ve developed a sense of flavor pairing that has allowed us to mix and match herbs and spices to achieve combinations more delicious than the sum of their parts.
The Cajun spice mix, though, is quite special because Cajun is more than a food seasoning; it’s an entire culture.
The History of Cajun
Cajun people are descendants of French immigrants in the USA. They arrived at the new continent between the 17th and 18th centuries, and they brought their cultural baggage with them.
Many French communities gathered in today’s Canadian maritime provinces, but others looked for warmer and more humid weather and called Louisiana their home.
These were troublesome times; there was slavery in the region and lots of economic turmoil. Louisiana became a cultural hotpot where every culture, including those with African heritage, became a creole society.
Cajun was for a long time the definition of people of French descent with low economic standing. Still, what they lacked in economic and political power, they had in traditions — the best of them took place in the kitchen.
The Cajun Spice Blend
Cajun cuisine combines French, Spanish and West African cooking techniques applied to Louisiana’s local products. Corn, rice, wheat, bell peppers, cayenne peppers, collard greens, lemons, okra, onions, parsley, sweet potatoes, tomatoes and chili peppers. And there are lots more.
As for the meat, both freshwater fish and marine seafood about in coastal Louisiana. Beef is rarely seen, but pork and poultry are a given, and sometimes alligator is cooked too!
A typical Cajun spice blend comprises salt, cayenne pepper and garlic. But that’s just the base. Paprika, bell peppers, oregano, green onions, parsley, black pepper and even brown sugar can play a part and often do.
Both establishments and households often have their own unique Cajun blend, passed from generation to generation, and some of them are now sold in retail. There are endless combinations for these herbs and spices. What they all have in common is their intense color, spiciness and astounding Cajun flavor.
If you want to join the Cajun tradition and start your own legacy, learn how to make your own here!
How to Cook with Cajun Spices
The most representative Cajun dish relying heavily on Cajun spices is the gumbo. A family-style, large pot of meat and veggies featuring okra, shrimp or crawfish, and many other ingredients, thickened by a French-inspired brown roux. Where there’s gumbo, there’s a party – as simple as that!
The Jambalaya, a paella-like rice dish, is also blessed by the color and flavor of Cajun spices, and it is too a crowd-pleasing dish to feed large crowds.
Cajun spices are widely known as a fabulous dry spice rum. Seasoning chicken, turkey, pork shoulder or even fish with the red-hued spices turns everything into a worthy ambassador for Cajun cuisine — it’s immediately recognizable.
Cajun Spice Health Benefits
Although a Cajun spice blend can include a wide variety of herbs and spices, each with impressive health benefits, including garlic, oregano and parsley, the featuring component, and the one that adds most health benefits to the spicy blend is cayenne pepper.
Cayenne Peppers are part of the hot pepper family, which means they get their spiciness from a compound called capsaicin.
Consuming capsaicin makes you hot, literally increasing your body temperature effectively increasing the number of calories you burn, speeding up your metabolism.
Cayenne Peppers can make you feel less hungry, meaning you eat less and control your weight. It also satiates you faster.
Capsaicin can reduce your blood pressure by relaxing your blood vessels: something important to avoid inflammation and prevent circulatory and heart disease.
Cayenne peppers are awesome to promote proper digestive health; they boost your stomach defense mechanisms and help you reduce the risk of getting an ulcer.
Add Some Cajun To Your Life
Cajun spices are addictively spicy and forget about bland meals; a pinch of this gorgeous red powder can make veggies, stews, broths and roasts a real delight with a Louisiana spirit.
Herbs and spices are the best way of adding your signature to your food, and what better than a spice blend with such a rich history! Try Cajun, at our curated shop and you’ll never go back.
Highly Rated – Social Media Chatter on Cajun Spice