Cajun Dictionary

Cajun Dictionary – C


Ca fait chaud! – “It’s hot!”

Café au lait (kah-fay-oh-lay) – A hot beverage made with strong coffee mixed with an equal portion of hot, half-scalded milk.

Cajun (cay-jun) – Slang for Acadians, the French-speaking people who were expelled from Nova Scotia and found their way to South Louisiana in the eighteenth century.  The term now applies to the people, the culture, and the cooking.

Cajun Trinity – Onions, bell peppers, and celery, the three most often used ingredients in Cajun cooking.  See Holy Trinity.

Carnival – Refers to the period of time between January 6, the Feast of the Epiphany, and “Fat Tuesday,” or Mardi Gras.  Festivities kick off on a small scale, then gradually pick up steam with many parades, balls and parties in the final two weeks before Mardi Gras.

Cast iron – Popular in Cajun cooking as the heavy pots and skillets are useful for sautéing and making rouxs as well as long hours of cooking where there is less chance of burning or scorching of the food. How to season

Cayenne (ki-yan) – A hot pepper that is dried and used to season many Louisiana dishes.

C’est bon! – “That’s good!”

C’est la vie – “That’s life.”

Chere (shaa) – “dear.” – used by Cajuns as a term of endearment.

Cochon de lait (koh SHON duh lay) – means “suckling pig” or milk-fed pig.  It is an event where the pig is slowly roasted whole over an open flame.

Coonass – Slang used in reference to a person of Cajun ethnicity.

Coo-yon – a fool, stupid.  Usually said in a playful manner.

Couche-Couche (koosh-koosh) – A popular Cajun breakfast food made by frying cornmeal and topping it with milk and/or cane syrup.

Courir de Gras – Costumed participants travel from house to house, traditionally on horseback, begging for ingredients to make a gumbo to be shared with the community.

Court – Each Mardi Gras Krewe selects a Royal Court that will preside over that year’s festivities including the ball and parade.  The court includes a king, queen, maids and dukes.

Courtbouillon (coo-be-yon) – A rich, spicy soup or stew made with fish fillets, tomatoes, and seasonings.  Recipe:  Buddy’s Redfish Courtbouillon

Cracklins – Fried strips of pork skin and fat, popular as a snack in South Louisiana.  Also called gratons.

Crawfish – The state crustacean and an emblem of Louisiana cooking, this smaller member of the lobster family is found in fresh water and is raised and harvested in South Louisiana.  Spring crawfish boils are a much-anticipated tradition—nearly every Cajun spends Good Friday eating boiled crawfish.  Crawfish are used in many Cajun dishes such as etouffees, jambalayas, and stews.

Crawfish bisque – a roux-based stew, traditionally garnished with crawfish heads stuffed with a mixture of crawfish meat and seasonings.  Recipe: Crawfish Bisque

Creole – 1.  The word originally described those people of French and Spanish blood who migrated from Europe or were born in South Louisiana and lived as sophisticated city or plantation dwellers.  2. A person of mixed Black and European, especially French or Spanish, ancestry who speaks a creolized form of French or Spanish.  3.  The term has expanded to embrace a type of cuisine and a style of architecture.