Posts Tagged ‘Louisiana’

Important Dates in Cajun History

April 14th, 2015 by Cajun Country Rice


Throughout history, the people known as “Acadians” have faced many trials. While in Canada, the British demanded they swear allegiance to the British flag, then expelled them when they refused. Almost 200 years later, the Acadians thought they found a safe home in Louisiana- then were shamed and punished for speaking their native language. Thankfully, Louisianans learned to love and embrace their Acadian French heritage. Today, “Cajun” culture is celebrated and cherished. Here’s a timeline of trials and triumphs of the Acadian people and their descendents:

1632 – The first families of settlers arrive in Acadie (present-day Nova Scotia) from France. Most come from the same community, Poitou, and were encouraged to settle in France’s newly acquired colony, “New France.”

1713 – After a century of conflict, the French sign the Treaty of Utrecht, ceding Acadie to the British. The colony is renamed Nova Scotia.

August 10, 1755 – Le Grand Dérangement, also known as the “Great Upheaval” or the “Great Expulsion”, begins. The British forced thousands of Acadians out of the present-day Nova Scotia. Many are sent to France and various colonies along the East coast. The Acadians had refused to take an unconditional oath to the British, which would have forced them to take up arms against the French.

1785 – Approximately 1,600 French Acadians (on seven ships) arrive in the Spanish colony of Louisiana, the largest such group to arrive at one time. Spain paid for their transit because the settlers shared a common faith (Catholicism) and would provide protection from British invasion. The Spanish had taken possession of Louisiana from France in 1763.


“The Arrival of the Acadians in Louisiana” by Robert Dafford.

1794 – Following the end of the French Revolution, French immigrants arrive in Louisiana in waves. After reacquiring Louisiana in 1800, Napoleon later sells the colony to the United States in 1803. Statehood comes 8 years later.

1915 – Louisiana’s State Education Committee removes the French language from Louisiana schools. Several schools punish students for speaking French.

1928 – Joe Falcon and Cléoma Breaux make the first audio recording of Cajun music, “Allons à Lafayette.”

1941 – World War II begins. Many young Cajuns and Creoles leave home for the first time and prove to be valuable as French translators.

1955 – 200th anniversary of Le Grand Dérangement. State Senator Dudley LeBlanc serves as liaison between the “two Acadies” — Acadiana, and Acadie (Nova Scotia). He arranges one of the first voyages of a large group of Cajuns to their ancestral land to commemorate the anniversary.

1964 – The Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination based on race, skin color, religion, sex or nationality — a very important step in the preservation of Cajun culture.

1968 – CODOFIL (Council for the Development of French in Louisiana) is founded to preserve French language in Louisiana.

1969 – The first French and Québecois language teachers arrive in Louisiana.

1974 – The first “Hommage à la musique acadienne” is held, later becoming Lafayette’s annual “Festivals Acadiens et Créoles.”

1976 – The first Cajun French book is published, “Lâche pas la patate,” by Revon Reed.

1978 – By request of a group of students, Louisiana State University offers its first Cajun French course taught by Ulysse Ricard.

1980 – Cris sur le Bayou, the first collection of Cajun poetry, is published.

1983 – Calcasieu Parish is the first to launch a French Immersion Program in elementary schools. Assumption, St. Martin, Lafayette, Acadia, Orleans, St. Landry, Baton Rouge and Iberia parishes later follow.

1994 – The University of Louisiana at Lafayette begins the first doctorate program for French Studies in North America.

1995 – The First Congrès Mondial Acadien, a festival of Acadian and Cajun culture and history, is held.

1998 – LSU launches a Cajun French undergraduate program.

2010 – The Dictionary of Louisiana French is published.

Dictionary of Louisiana French

Dictionary of Louisiana French

Match Made in Cajun Country

February 12th, 2015 by Cajun Country Rice

Match Made in Cajun Country

Exploring and experimenting with different flavor combinations is the key to crafting memorable meals. But did you know that when it comes to rice, the variation you choose could add a whole new dimension to your dish? Each variation of Cajun Country Rice has dishes that are a perfect match. Read on to find out which combinations are meant to be.

Medium Grain White Rice

Medium grain rice is softer and clings together more than its long grain counterpart. It tends to soak up flavors well, making it perfect for dishes with thick sauces or gravies, like crawfish étouffée or rice and gravy. Its softness also pairs well with dishes like paella and risotto, and sushi. Our favorite way to eat it, however, will always be in a nice jambalaya!

Long Grain White Rice

While long grain and medium grain rice are somewhat interchangeable, long grain rice kernels are more separated and firm than medium grain. This grain is ideal for stir-fry dishes, like fried rice. It also holds up better in soups and gumbos.

Brown Rice

Often seen as the healthiest grain of rice due to its higher fiber content, this variety pairs well with lettuce wraps and lots of veggies. Ginger, sesame and mushroom flavors complement the nuttier notes of brown rice.

Jasmine Rice

Jasmine rice is a more delicate, soft variety and pairs best with Asian-inspired dishes and flavors like coconut, curry, and chai.

Popcorn Rice

Popcorn rice complements just about anything. It’s length and width is similar to long grain rice, but its fragrant, lively character adds an extra bit of love to any dish. Add popcorn rice to your red beans for a guaranteed crowd pleaser.

Celebrate What You Love

October 17th, 2014 by Christine Fulton

Celebrate What You Love

Every so often something is deemed so integral to Louisiana culture that it merits a celebration. Rice has been a staple of Louisiana agriculture since the eighteenth century, and has been celebrated in Crowley, Louisiana with the International Rice Festival for the past 78 years. Crowley has even been called “The Rice Capital of the World.”

Every year during the third week of October, the International Rice Festival welcomes people from near and far to participate in a variety of activities. The festival is filled with music, games and lots of eating. Everything heats up in Crowley — from the dance floor to the stove burners. This year marks the festival’s 78th celebration of rice and farming, and we encourage everyone to visit and check out the International Rice Festival for themselves.

Few things excite us as much as seeing our community gather to celebrate the crop that our family has enjoyed sharing for the past 72 years. We hate to miss a moment of the Rice Festival fun, but we may have to be excused to welcome our farmers’ harvest from their second crop of rice. But don’t worry — we’ll be back just in time to two-step.


78th International Rice Festival

Crowley, La.

October 16-19, 2014

Schedule of Events