BAYOU(bi-yoo)...... The small rivers and large streams that meander through Louisiana.
BEIGNET (ben-yea).....a square shaped doughnut, deep fried and served with powdered sugar sprinkled generously over the top.
BON APPETITE!(bon ah-pa-teet).....good appetite or good eating, enjoy!
BOUDIN (boo-dan)......a mixture of seasoned spicy pork and beef, usually the left over sections referred to by cajuns as the "debris", cooked rice, green onion, regular onions, and herbs stuffed into sausage casing.
BOURRE' (boo-ray).....cajun card game in which the loser of the round must match the pot whether anyone has won it or not.
CAFE' AU LAIT (kah-fay-oh-lay).....coffee with milk, and great served with the beignets. Also this has other beverages recipes so scroll down and enjoy..
CAJUN (kay-jun).....Slang terms used to refer to those of Acadian heritage, the French-speaking people who migrated to the area from Nova Scotia in the 18th century. They preferred the solitude of rural life along the bayous, and the term now applies to the culture and cooking as well.
C'EST LA VIE!....cajun expression meaning...that's life!
CHICORY (chick-ory).....an herb, which is roasted and ground and added to flavor coffee.
COCHON DE LAIT (koh-shon-due-lay).....it refers to a pig roast, of a suckling pig, slow roasted over an outside fire. The pig is hung over a hickory fire so the fat will drain out and drip into the fire causing the flames to raise again and smoke, thus crisping and flavoring the pigs skin turning it the color of dark honey.
COUCHE COUCHE (koosh-koosh).....a cajun cornmeal cereal, usually eaten with milk and/or syrup.
COURTBOUILLON (coo-be-yon).....a stew or rich spicy soup like dish, made with tomatoes, onions,various herbs, spices, vegetables and fish which is also served over rice.
CRAWFISH (craw-fish)(sometimes spelled crayfish).....a shell fish which resembles a lobster but much smaller. Locally, also known as "mudbugs' because they live and grow in the mud either in freshwater ponds or bayous. They are a delicacy of the cajun people who use a variety of cooking and serving methods: fried, etouffees, jambalaya, gumbo's or simply boiled.
CREOLE (cree-ol).....a term originally used to refer to those people of mixed French and Spanish blood who migrated from Europe or were born in Southeast Louisiana. It has now expanded to include a type of cuisine and style of architecture.
DIRTY RICE.....pan-fried, leftover cooked rice, sauteed with green peppers, onion, celery, stock, liver, giblets and other herbs and spices.
ETOUFEE (ay-too-fay)....literally means "smothered....a dish of onions, celery, garlic, and green peppers sauteed, in oil or butter, with a roux based sauce. It's usually made with shrimp or crawfish and it too is served over rice.
FAIS DO DO (fay-doe-doe).....it's a party featuring cajun dancing usually in the street or outside. The literal translation is "to make sleep", but you won't finding any snoozers there.
FILE' (fee-lay).....a cajun seasoning used in soups but mainly gumbo's, made of ground sassafras leaves.
GUMBO (gum-boe).....a thick hearty soup, made in a multitude of combinations, such as shrimp or seafood, chicken, duck, or turkey, usually including file' and some sort of sausage such as andouille. Sometimes okra is used to help thicken the soup mixture and many cajuns are known for putting boiled eggs in the pot as well. It too is served with rice.
JAMBALAYA (jum-boe-lie-yah).....a rice dish also having many combinations of green peppers, celery, onions, green onions, beef, pork, fowl, smoked sausage, ham, seafood, and sometimes tomatoes.
JOIE DE VIVRE (zhwa-de-vee).....a joy of life. More of an attitude of life.
KING CAKE .....and oval shaped ring, pastry, with cinnamon and other herbs baked into the center. Sometimes other flavored creme fillings are baked inside, and it's served during the Mardi Gras season, beginning on January 6th, Kings day ( also known as "The twelth night"). It is decorated with colored sugars in the traditional green symbolizing faith, purple symbolizing justice, and gold symbolizing power, the colors of Mardi Gras, with a small plastic baby hidden inside. The person who receives the piece with the baby is to provide the cake at the next party.
LAGNIAPPE (lan-yop).....a cajun word meaning "something extra", and usually means it's a nice surprise.
LAISSEZ LES BON TEMPS ROULER (lay-zay lay bon tahn roo-lay).....a cajun expression meaning "let the good times roll!"
MARDI GRAS (mar-di-graw).....literal translation is "fat Tuesday" and is the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. Ash Wednesday is the beginning of the lentin season for Roman Catholics and the major religion of the cajuns. The Mardi Gras season begins on Jan. 6th Kings day and culminates with the largest street party you could ever witness. Many communities hold their own unique traditions in the celebrations.
MIRLITON (mel-e-taun).....along the lines of the squash family, it is a vegetable pear, with a hard outer shell but soft edible meat inside. it can be baked and stuffed or used in pies like pumpkin.
MUFFULETTA (muff-a-lotta).....a sandwich made of a specially baked, hard crusted bread usually about 9 or 10 inches in diameter and 2 to 3 inches high. The bread is cut like a hamburger bun and thick slices of cheeses and italian meats are piled between the bread slices which have been spread with olive oil. A layer of Olive salad is put in the center before the two halves are rejoined. This was from an influence of the italians in the New Orleans area.
PAIN PERDU (pan-pad-due)....meaning Lost bread also known as French Toast.
PASSE' UN BON TEMPS (pah-say-une-baun-taun).....means to have a good time or literally to "pass a good time".
PO-BOY.....originally a sandwich offered for five cents using day old hard long loaf bread. It's ingredients vary, from Ham and cheese to shrimp, fried oysters, fried crawfish or meatballs to name a few. It is always made with the traditional French bread which is baked in long loaves.
PRALINE (praw-leen).....a candy patty which will melt in your mouth and is made of sugar, cream, and pecans.
RED BEANS AND RICE ...... a traditional Monday meal, which could be slow cooked over a low fire and usually included the leftover ham bone from Sundays dinner, and red beans and sausage. It is put on the stove early in the morning to simmer all day as Monday was typically wash day and the pot didn't need careful attention, leaving the lady of the house free to complete her laundry chores.
ROUX (Roo).....a one to one combination of oil and flour browned in a heavy (usually cast iron) skillet. It is used as a base for many of the sauces and gravies served in a cajun home.
SAUCE PIQUANTE (sauce pea-kahn).....a sauce, whose base is a mixture of roux and tomatoes, and is usually very spicy. The meat is usually wild rabbit and deer (or venison)and needed a thick spicy sauce to help cover the wild taste in the meat. Many locals also add some sort of wine to the sauce to help hide the pungent flavor of the wild meat.
VIEUX CARRE' (Voe-kah-ray).....means "old quarter" and the term usually associated with the French Quarter in New Orleans.
VISITE' (vee-zeet).....to call on a neighbor or to visit them.
ZYDECO (zi-dee-coe)......a music associated with the creoles and have been incorporated along with traditional cajun music.
Festival International de Louisiane ...one of the largest gatherings of French-speaking talents, and it's FREE to the public!