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Cajun Country

The official term for Cajun Country as adopted by the state is Acadiana.

Acadiana mapIt is a loose area of historical settlements of French Acadians who found their way to Louisiana by way of Acadia, present day Nova Scotia. These people settled the bayous, swamps, marshes, and prairies of South Louisiana in an area roughly west of the Mississippi River to a loose western boundary of Lake Charles, LA and to the North somewhere south of Alexandria, LA. While New Orleans is often associated with Cajun, the two are distinctly different.

Cajun Country is not all alligators and swamps as often depicted.

Sugar cane dominates the eastern region giving way to the rice field prairies of the west, while rolling hills and piney woods sprinkle the northern most regions. Three river basins(Atchafalaya, Mermentau, and Calcasieu) bisect Acadiana creating even further regionalization, unique food, and customs. For a map and further examination, check out this link.

Cajuns are known for their “joie de vivre” or joy of life.

If it crawls, walks, or swims, we probably have a sauce to put it in and a song to sing about it. It’s a culture that designs and engineers elaborate apparatuses for cooking everything from whole pigs to “drunk” chickens. We put serious effort into having fun. Our families are the most important part of our culture, and family reunions and church on Sunday are nearly mandatory.

Cajun Crawfish farm