I can just imagine how a teacher must feel, looking at a classroom full of children and wondering which one of these little guys or girls her/his knowledge will impact… When I went to Institut Notre-Dame-de-Lourdes which was a private school for girls offering a high school education from grade 7 to 9, I had different classes just like a regular “high school”, and my favorites were History, Geography and French. Did you know that Québec has the highest percentage of children going to private schools in North America?
All right back to my favorites which were History, Geography and French… From that first high school year, we studied the history of Acadians and the six colonial wars. Originally from France, these settlers immigrated to the Northeastern part of North America which is now known as the Maritime Provinces of Canada, including a portion of Maine in the United States. The most predominant war was the last of the six – “French and Indian War” in 1710 – which ended up deporting Acadians from the Maritimes and resulted in the dispersion of them which is also known as “The Great Upheaval” or “Le Grand Dérangement” in French. Some were deported to France, the Caribbean and England while others returned back to the Maritimes years later but there are some that actually got deported to several American colonies settling all the way to Louisiana and became known as Cajuns. Okay enough history for today…
Here’s the thing… my bucket list is quite extensive and New Orleans is one of the places on it. After studying its history and culture, now it’s time to go there physically… one day! I’ve always loved Jazz and I’m sure I’d have a heck of a good time down there! I love history… so much to see in Louisiana and to top everything off, I’m a foody… an awesome destination for a person like me, actually it’s a dream destination for a person like me! I want to visit it when it’s Mardi Gras of course, but I’ll go any other time of the year as I really want to visit it.
Although I haven’t been there yet, I’ve always been quite attracted to Cajun/Creole cuisine and have been to many restaurants that specialize in this type of cuisine. Now let’s put things in perspective… Cajun and Creole are not the same cuisine although similar. Cajun is from the Acadian settlers mentioned earlier and many of our Québec recipes are impacted by its cuisine. Now Creole is from the descendants directly from the French and Spanish upper class that were already established in New Orleans. Its cuisine is a blend of various cultures just like its people. If I can simplify it, while Creole cuisine is more “aristocratic and refined” or more “city food”, Cajun is more rural or more “homy” if I may and also has more seasoning – I’m not talking about being spicy here.
After all that history, I have an incredible recipe inspired by this lovely southern part of the United States… my Shrimp Maque Choux! It has such a beautiful combination of flavors. This is a great main course to enjoy but if you omit the shrimp, it turns into a lovely side dish. Is it Cajun or Creole? I put this dish into the Cajun cuisine section with a touch of Creole… One thing is for sure, it’s an awesome dish for you to try. This is my way of bringing Mardi Gras to my table until I’m finally able to go and visit in person… Bon Appétit!