Have you ever been to a place that surprises, charms and maybe even leaves you wondering why you’re just now experiencing it? That’s the reaction I’ve seen from so many folks visiting Southwest Louisiana for their first time. As a local, there are so many things that define Cajun country which we consider normal in our everyday lives, but to the inexperienced, they might be a little different. With that in mind, let’s look at a few ways to KNOW that you’re in Cajun country.
Spice is the obvious place your mind turns to, but that’s not what we’re talking about here. There’s a flavor in authentic Cajun cuisine that is unmistakable to the palate. It’s called The Holy Trinity: onion, bell pepper and celery. Crawfish étouffée, gumbo, and jambalaya are some of the most popular Cajun country dishes and they all start with these three ingredients. If you smell the aroma of The Holy Trinity as it begins to sauté in butter, you know that you’re in Cajun Country.
Sure, there are plenty of places famous for their styles of music. When you think of Nashville, you think of country music, and when you think of New Orleans, you think of jazz music, but when you’re in Cajun Country you’ll know it. When the sound of Cajun and Zydeco fills the air, there’s only one place on earth that you can be… South Louisiana. During certain parts of the year, especially Mardi Gras, Cajun and Zydeco music are playing everywhere you go. It’s almost like a real-life soundtrack following you as you celebrate the season.
There’s nothing like some good ol’ Cajun hospitality. Folks in South Louisiana are what make it such a great place to visit. If you show up to any event or gathering, the first thing people will do is ask “Did ya eat yet?” Rest assured, you won’t go hungry and you’ll more than likely be taking home a Country Crock tub filled with leftovers. Go ahead, get to know people when you visit!
So, when you’re in Cajun Country you’ll know it. Just be prepared for amazing flavors, don’t forget to bring your dancing shoes and expect your handshake offer to be met with a hug and a plate of food.