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Creador: Amos Miller

Opening the Wonderful Door to the Creole Kitchen of New Orleans

Amos Miller
Amos Miller 16 de Febrero de 2011

Now you may be asking yourself, "What does that white boy in Michigan know about the Creole-Soul kitchen.?" Well, while I have the greatest respect for the Cajun cooks and their unique flavor profiles, I have had more than 40 years of love and fascination with Creole-Soul.

For me, the King of Creole-Soul was the late Chef Austin Leslie. I first met Chef Austin in 1987. He became my Creole kitchen-god, my inspirational mentor. My prized possesion is a copy of his last cookbook (2000), Creole-Soul, with it's inscription: "To the Chef - Austin J. Leslie - 4/10/03" with a sketched self portrait of the man, himself. All the recipes I present here will be Austin's or ,where noted, my tweeked version of Austin's work. Credit where credit is due.

Perhaps its the simple complexity of the dishes.

Now you're asking, "What on earth is he talking about?" The complexity comes from the amalgam, the seamless blending of several distinct cultural influences to create the Creole repetoire. The simplicity comes from the unpretentious exposition in the kitchen of the influences of French, Spanish, African, Native American, German, Italian and Irish blood in the veins of New Orleans Creole cooks.

The Creole in Louisiana are the result of several distinct cultures - and their kitchens - coming together into one people.

Louisiana Creole people traditionally are descended from French and Spanish colonial settlers in Louisiana. Before the Civil War, the term was used generally for those of French and Spanish descent whose families were in Louisiana before the purchase. These people are centered in the greater New Orleans area, both city and suburbs. The term was first used to refer to those who were born in the colony, as opposed to colonists born in France.

In New Orleans, the word Créole was applied to people of only European descent. In New Orleans' French Quarter, the word Creole is everywhere and refers to the culture of these White Creoles. Later the term was also applied to those individuals of mixed heritage born in Louisiana.

Today, two types of Creoles exist in Louisiana. The original version, which was Europeans of French/Spanish descent in the New Orleans area, and the "Creoles of color", a 19th-century term, were descendants of mixed African and European ancestry. Some Creoles of Color may also have Native American heritage. Both groups of Creoles (European ancestry and Creoles of Color) may have additional heritages, such as German, Irish or Italian, related to later immigrants. Most modern Creoles have family ties to Louisiana, particularly New Orleans.

So, there we have it: The Cajuns are the descendents of French Canadian exiles; the New Orleans Creoles are French, Spanish, African, German, Irish, Native American.

Simply put, Cajun Gumbo is brown and Creole Gumbo is red. You'll see...

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Claudia lamascolo
Claudia lamascolo Miércoles, 16 de Febrero de 2011 a las 11:53 PM
Re: Opening the Wonderful Door to the Creole Kitchen of New Orleans

Amazing and wonderful read here thanks so much for enriching my experience on Creole cooking and the word...I knew some of this but what a great amount of information and history so much appreciate the time you took here thank you!

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