Photo credit: Andrew Itaga

Boucherie, a Louisiana holiday food tradition

1 min read

In Louisiana, there wasn’t any turkey for Thanksgiving or Christmas; however, the local custom celebrated is the Boucherie, or the cutting of the pig.

It is an annual tradition in Louisiana where communities come together to kill, skin and butcher fattened hogs. The various pieces of pork are divided then households cook succulent dishes. The fete last for several days as members visit each other’s homes to celebrate. Creole or black Louisiana made dishes such as boudin (sausage), dirty rice, jambalaya, tripe, cochon ole (suckling pig), tripe a la chi, gratins (hog crackling), cowboy stew, pork stew, gumbo, meatball stew and pork tenderloin.

Many people often get Cajun and Creole food confused or think that it is the same cultural heritage. The biggest difference between the culinary ways is that Creole food often uses tomatoes in their dishes which is a West African retention as many dishes in regions like Senegal use tomatoes.

Cajuns, derived from the word les Acadians, come from the Acadians who were French colonists booted from the french-speaking territory of Nova Scotia, Canada when France lost control of the island in the mid 1700s. They settled in southwest Louisiana from the late 1700s to the turn of the nineteen century, and today, the region is called, Acadian or L’Acadie.

There are many versions of Creole in Louisiana with the first being mixtures of Spanish and French colonists; however, Black Creole Louisiana is what people reference when speaking about Creole people and culture.

Creoles are African peoples whose ancestry consists of European and possibly Native American. The intersection of cultural influences created a distinct cultivation of traditions that are steeped in Africa with inflections of other ways of life.

Chef Cassandra Loftlin travels around the world digging into sumptuous dishes.

1 Comment

  1. Chef Cassandra, you should talk to Chef Hardette Harris who is doing amazing work in promoting northern Louisiana foodways. I think you both would enjoy each other. As for you, I thoroughly enjoy your work for Ark. It’s amazing.

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