New Orleans is famous for its bustling culture, jazz music, and Mardi Gras parades. But few people know about the city’s rich history in creole cuisine — a flavorful and diverse culinary experience that has been passed down through generations of locals.
The origin of creole cuisine dates back to the mid-1700s when French settlers began to establish colonies in Louisiana. In an effort to adapt traditional recipes of their homeland to their new home, they created a unique blend of flavors and ingredients which were then heavily influenced by the diverse range of cultures that followed shortly thereafter — including African, Caribbean, Native American, and Spanish traditions.
This amalgamation resulted in an array of mouth watering dishes such as gumbo, jambalaya, étouffeé and po’boy sandwiches — all featuring rice as a common base ingredient. Creole cuisine also distinguishes itself from other regional cooking styles thanks to the extensive use of locally sourced seafood like crawfish and oysters; vegetables such as okra and eggplant; and meats like pork sausage or chicken cooked with spicy seasonings like cayenne pepper or paprika.