After getting settled in this southern area of the United States, the Acadian farmers once again changed their cooking based on what ingredients were readily available to them. This meant their cuisine developed to feature oysters, crab, alligator, shrimp, crawfish, catfish, and redfish — all of which could be caught in the Gulf of Mexico and the waters of the local bayou. This was a stark contrast to the lobster, cod, and salmon which they caught in the North Atlantic Ocean outside Canada.
Furthermore, their conventional staple vegetable, the potato, was changed for rice, which grew very well in Louisiana’s warm, sticky environment. Bell peppers took the place of the conventional carrots, and exotic spices like cayenne and black pepper were introduced to their cooking. Along the way, influences from the Native Americans, African Americans, and Spanish made it into their cuisine as well. Every one of these diverse influences factored into making Cajun cuisine what we know it as today.
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