"The intriguing history of Louisiana's denizens often leads to a discussion of the distinctions between Cajun and Creole customs. Though there is often a great deal of heated debate surrounding the similarities and dissimilarities of these two unique Louisiana cultures, the following article will attempt to offer steps to help you make clear distinctions between the two.
"Realize the historical differences between Cajuns and Creoles in order to distinguish between their customs. Cajuns come from low-country, rural stock living on the bayous of Louisiana. They are renowned for being private, clannish and fiercely religious. Creoles, on the other hand, have urban origins. They are of European stock and settled primarily in New Orleans. The Creoles created the French Quarter and still hold on to their European roots.
"Take into account the differences in food. Cajun food, having its roots in the rural southern Louisiana bayou country, is largely based on stews, gumbos, okras and rice dishes, whereas, Creole food is more European, with its roots coming largely from the more urbane French Quarter. Some popular Creole dishes incorporate seafood with etoufee and jambalaya.
Know the differences in the music. Though there are a number of similarities between Cajun and Creole music, it can be broken down thus: Cajun music is more blues-based and jazz-oriented, while Creole music has a more West African, Caribbean feel to it.
"Be aware that the city of New Orleans is a perfect portrait of the way that Cajun and Creole customs are different. For most Creoles, the French Quarter was and is the only culture. It has an air of old-world European charm in the architecture and mood of it. Canal Street divides the quarter from the rest of New Orleans, and it has been said that Creoles believe anything on the other side of Canal Street is not worth seeing. Cajuns, on the other hand, like their rural roots, so they are closer to the river and on the other side of Canal.
"Understand that nowadays most people do not distinguish much between the two cultures. Down in Louisiana, the cooking and the customs of both the Creoles and Cajuns are pretty hard to tell apart. Only by taking a close look at the historical roots of the two cultures can you see the now subtle differences."
Read more: How to Distinguish Between Cajun and Creole Customs