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Traditional Foods Provide Comfort

A year later, the devastation caused by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita continues to affect the lives those from the affected areas. While some continue to rebuild others are settling into new hometowns and states. But despite all that has been endured many continue to keep the spirit of their Cajun culture alive while adapting to these life changes. This may be in part to the joie de vivre (joy of living) approach to life that permeates throughout Louisiana.

This joy of living attitude is seen in all aspects of Cajun culture from the numerous state festivals and extravagant Mardi Gras celebrations to the family get-togethers centered on traditional Cajun cuisine. It is apparent that Louisianans seek to delight in life to its fullest throughout the year.

Because many of Louisiana’s traditions focus on the enjoyment and sharing of food that it is often said that “Cajuns live to eat.” So it seems fitting that those who have suffered in the aftermath of these hurricanes would benefit from eating and sharing familiar comfort foods with each other. Some of the most well loved Cajun dishes like red beans and rice, gumbo, etouffee, and jambalaya can help trigger thoughts of home and more pleased times for those affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Since several of the customary dishes in Louisiana are simple one pot meals that can easily feed a large crowd, many shelters served these traditional Cajun meals to provide evacuees with a familiar reminder of home in the early days following storms.

Turning to these traditional Cajun foods for comfort may help evacuees feel more at home even if they now live hundreds of miles from their home state of Louisiana. They can even continue to cook their favorite Cajun meals with Louisiana ingredients by ordering them online. Most Louisiana online stores offer everything from Louisiana hot pepper sauces and coffee to stuffed turduckens and fresh Louisiana seafood.

Simple comfort foods may not be a cure all for the hurt caused, but they can certainly place some well needed familiarity back into any right Cajun’s life.

Elizabeth Catalanotto is a contributing writer for cajungrocer.com CajunGrocer Louisiana’s premier online food store offering a wide selection of cajungrocer.com Cajun foods including turduckens, andouille sausages, alligator meat and more.

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