Our Southern “Canadian” Heritage

Cajun MapSo there is a cultural demographic located in the southern United States know as Cajuns (pronounced KAY-jun). This group of people celebrate a rich and fascinating history, filled with their own language, music, religious leanings, and of course, foods! So what does Canada have to do with this? Quite a lot actually.

Back in the day (y’know, around 1710), the British overtook the section of what was then called French Acadia (now the maritime area of Canada). Over the next 45 years, the Acadians (pronounced Ah-KAY-dee-yans), loyal to the French, refused to sign an unconditional oath of allegiance to Britain, and in fact did everything they could to participate in militia operations against the British. The British, not appreciating the local rebellion, began to deport the Acadians from Acadia, in what became known as “The Great Upheaval” or “Le Grand Dérangement”.

While some moved to France, or other parts of Canada, a large contingent moved to the region of Atakapa, in present-day Louisiana. Over time, the term “Acadians” became “Cajun”, and the Cajun people flourished in the warm climate of Louisiana and it’s Bayous. While there are endless topics that I could focus on within the Cajun world, this week, I’m going to zero in on the food! So this week, look forward to Jambalaya, Gumbo, Dirty Rice and more!

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