People often get confused between Cajuns and Creoles, or even use the terms interchangeably without knowing what the difference is! While both peoples have a strong influence of French ancestry, they are distinguished primarily by their migration history. Cajun refers to a person whose ancestors came from Acadia, a region that includes Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick.  The British were in control of the area in the 1700s. During the French and Indian War, the British feared the Acadians would join French forces so they were expelled from the region and guess where they ended up? Louisiana! Creoles, by contrast, were people of mixed decent, including French, Spanish, African, and Carribbean influence.  Both Cajuns and Creoles brought with them many of the culinary and artistic traditions we boast about today, yet their music, food, and religious traditions remain distinguished. Here are some of the characteristics of each:


use a lot of paprika, cayenne, and other spices

use a lot of parsley 

dishes often feature pork, chicken, sausage, or crawfish


strong Caribbean influence in their music

use a lot of okra

use a lot of tomatoes 

dishes often feature seafood rather than meat