The Tradition of Tailgating

Tailgating and grilling at football game.

Here in Louisiana we love sports. This is especially true when it comes to football. Whether it’s high school, college or NFL, football dominates our weekends in the fall. We also love any excuse for a good party, celebrating with our friends and sharing a great meal. The tradition of tailgating for Louisiana sports is the perfect marriage because it merges traditional and new-age aspects of Cajun culture. The Origins of Tailgating You might think the tailgate party originated in the frozen parking lot of Lambeau Field when Vince Lombardi presided over the Green Bay Packers in the early years […]

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Cajun Summer Olympics

One of the things that makes Louisiana great is our unique culture. We have our own food, architecture, music and even our own sports — it’s true! Well, the truth is we just enjoy having fun and can turn almost anything into a competitive event. If there were such a thing as the Cajun Summer Olympics, these are a few of the events you might expect to see. 1. The Mardi Gras Bead Catch Anyone who has ever stood on a parade route in Louisiana during Mardi Gras will tell you that catching beads is a serious endeavor. The colorful […]

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Who was Jean Lafitte?

Jean Lafitte, the New Orleans Pirate.

Jean Lafitte: an American pirate or national hero? When and where he was born is unclear, and when and where he died is a mystery. And yet, he remains one of the most recognized names and talked about figures in New Orleans and Louisiana history. Although the facts vary, the stories are the same: he made a name for himself as a privateer and became a hero to many Louisiana natives. Beginnings of a Pirate Life Born sometime between 1770 and 1776 either in France or maybe in what’s now Tahiti (we told you the facts varied!), Lafitte’s first appearance […]

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History and Symbols of the Louisiana State Flag

Louisiana State Flag

For visitors to Louisiana, it’s easy to remember the most popular Cajun traditions like Mardi Gras, Cajun and Zydeco music, celebrations for every occasion and, of course, the delicious food that can only be found in South Louisiana. But one tradition you may not be so quick to remember is our unique state flag that depicts a pelican tearing at her breast to feed her young chicks. But why does that particular image grace the flag of Louisiana? We Cajuns take pride in the the history of that flag and the motto that accompanies it – “Union, Justice and Confidence.” […]

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Legends from the Bayou

Eerie Louisiana Swamp

The Cajun and Creole people of Louisiana are well-known for their folklore legends passed down from one generation to the next. From the swamps of the bayou to the civilized inner cities, mysterious stories abound. As many legends originate from true events, some unexplainable stories become that much more frightening. The Rougarou In the swampy bayous of the south, the beast is known as the “rougarou” or the “loup-garou.” The legend of the wolf-man like creatures began centuries ago in France. The tales arrived in the states with French immigrants and evolved over time. The swamp creature is said to […]

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History of the Shotgun House

Shotgun house in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Few things reflect Louisiana’s unique architecture better than the shotgun house. Second only to the plantation home in terms of familiarity, the shotgun house has an interesting history that reveals much about Louisiana culture. If you pay us a visit, you’ll likely encounter many examples of this modest dwelling on your trip. How the Shotgun House Got Its Name Ask someone at random how the shotgun house got its name, and you’ll probably get the common answer. It is said that because these houses have no hallways, a shotgun could be fired through the open front door and the shot […]

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The History of Festival International de Louisiane

Keith Frank & the Soileau Zydeco Family Band performing.

In 1987, a group of individuals in Lafayette, Louisiana, had a rather unique idea. They decided to create a cultural heritage celebration that would, in the words of the Festival International Mission Statement, “enrich the community with a celebration of its native cultures through performing arts.” While known for its rich Cajun culture, Louisiana has always been a melting pot of ethnicities. The creation of Festival International de Louisiane was a sincere and successful effort to bring people together in a universal appreciation of the arts, food and good times. It remains, however, an especially important event for Francophones and […]

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Biscuits of Many Kinds

Homemade Biscuits

As I write this, we have about a month before Mardi Gras arrives. This year we have a rather long Carnival season, and I hate to admit it, but I’ve already had my fill of King Cakes! And this year, not only are there the regular King Cakes, now there is King Cake Ale, King Cake cupcakes, and even King Cake flavored coffee. As much as I enjoy the Carnival season, I think I might just overdose on anything King Cake. I believe I might just brush up on my biscuit making. There is nothing I like more than hot […]

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What Makes it Cajun?

Authentic Cajun Emblem

Here in Louisiana, good food and good times are an essential part of our culture. We don’t just cook special meals for birthday or holiday celebrations, either. The Cajun people embrace fine eating 365 days a year. If you make it down our way for a visit, you’ll quickly discover there are a few things that really distinguish Cajun dining. Family and Friends You might be surprised that the first item on this list isn’t a food or one of Louisiana’s legendary seasonings at all. First and foremost, Cajun meals are meant to be enjoyed with family and friends. Sharing […]

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Hot Beignets Recipe

Beignets

HOT BEIGNETS  By: Marcelle Bienvenu We in Louisiana call them beignets, but they are more widely known as fritters. In New Orleans at the French Quarter coffee shops, they are much like a sweet doughnut and dusted with confectioners’ sugar, and are a perfect accompaniment to cafe au lait. In rural areas you might find fruit, such as bananas or apples, and sometimes even sweet potatoes, incorporated in the batter. I remember two dear elderly ladies in St. Martinville who sometimes made savory ones, using whatever ingredients were at hand, like crawfish, cheese, or eggplant and shrimp. For a time, […]

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