Cajun Food

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

Acadians (‘Cajuns’) are descended from the French settlers of 17th century Nova Scotia, a colony they named Acadia, from akade, the Micmac Indian word for ‘plenty’. When they were driven off their land and into exile in the Grand Déangement of 1755, some went back to France and some to the French Caribbean islands, but others arrived in the French colony of Louisiana just as it was being handed over to Spain in 1766.

The Spanish government granted the Acadians the uninhabited land around the Atchafalaya where, in time, they learnt to harvest the natural bounty of the swamps and marshes growing rice and raising cattle on the prairies.