When it comes to authentic Louisiana cooking, few dishes can top jambalaya. A slow-simmered mixture of rice, vegetables, meats, and Cajun seasoning, jambalaya easily tops the list of delicious New Orleans dishes. However, many people are unfamiliar with the history of this recipe, as well as the fact that it can be made in two distinct ways. The following information offers some interesting insight into this traditional Louisiana meal.
Jambalaya originated in Louisiana and is typically thought of as a modern variant of Spanish paella. In fact, its name is said to come in part from its Spanish precursor. Many historians believe that the Spaniards who relocated to America tried to replicate their homeland dish, but were not able to because the cost of saffron was too high. As a result, they were forced to substitute tomatoes for color and taste, which came to be known as Creole jambalaya.
Creole jambalaya is also called red jambalaya because of its tomato component. Typically this dish begins with Cajun seasoning, chicken, sausage, and vegetables. In particular, Louisiana natives often use what they refer to as the trinity of vegetables: onion, celery, and bell pepper. Once these ingredients have had a chance to cook, the tomatoes are added, which gives it distinctly red appearance. Any seafood ingredients are then combined, as well. Finally, the stock and rice are mixed into this delectable dish and left to simmer for 20 to 60 minutes.
Though Cajun jambalaya is made in much the same way, it does not call for tomatoes in its recipe. Instead, meats are browned beforehand in a cast-iron pot, which then gives the dish a brown hue. This is why, when differentiating between Creole and Cajun jambalaya, the latter is also called brown jambalaya. Yet, no matter what combination of vegetables, meats, rice, and Cajun seasoning you may prefer to use, the result inevitably comes out delicious.
Totally Nawlins allows Louisiana cuisine devotees the chance to explore both Creole and Cajun styles of cooking. We offer a wide array of your favorite Cajun sauces and seasoning, as well as jambalaya mixes, chicory coffee, and Barq’s Red Cream Soda. To find out more about our authentic Louisiana products, call us today at (985) 377-9253.