[A Taste of Louisiana] [with Chef John Folse & Co.] [Chef John Folse]
[Episode Guide]
[Bed & Breakfasts of the Bayou State]

A Taste of Louisiana with Chef John Folse & Co.
Bed & Breakfasts of the Bayou State
A Dictionary of Cajun Terms

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Andouille – {ahn doo wee} Sausage made with lean pork and lots of garlic, used in red beans and rice and other dishes.

Atchafalaya – {uh chaf uh ly uh} Choctaw Indian word meaning “long river.” The Atchafalaya River runs through a scenic river basin east of Lafayette, Louisiana. This swamp area is rich with wildlife and seafood that are the basis of many Cajun dishes


Bayou – {by yoo} French name for slow-moving river.

Beignet – {bin yay} little, square doughnut, deep fried and dusted with powdered sugar. The Louisiana state donut, served with cafe au lait.

Bisque – {bisk} rich, thick cream soup made from seafood.

Boudin – {boo dan} sausage made with rice, ground pork and seasonings.


Cafe Au Lait – {caf ay oh lay} hot coffee with hot milk; usually a half-and-half mixture with chicory.

Cafe Brulot – {caf ay broo loh} this dramatic after dinner brew is a blend of hot coffee, spices, orange peel, and liqueurs. It is blended in a chafing dish, ignited, and served in special cups.

Cajun – {cay jun} descendants of the French people of Nova Scotia who settled in Louisiana.

Calle – {cal yay} Spanish word for street.

Calliope – a musical instrument found on a steamboat consisting of a set of steam whistles played from a keyboard.

Cayenne – {ky yen} a hot pepper that is dried and used to season many Louisiana dishes.

Chank-a-Chank – rollicking Cajun music, usually involving an accordion.

Cher – {sheh} cajun word for “dear”.

Chicory – {chik or ee} an herb, the roots of which are dried, ground, roasted and used to flavor coffee.

Creole – {cree ole} several definitions exist: in Louisiana, a creole is a person descended from French or Spanish settlers or a person of mixed European and African blood. It is also a style of cooking and architecture.

Cochon de lait – {koo shon duh lay} a cajun party revolving around the roasting of a pig in a open pit, usually a hole dug into the ground.


Dirty Rice – pan-fried leftover cooked rice sauteed with green peppers, onion, celery, stock and giblets.


Etouffeé – {ay too fay} spicy cajun stew served over rice and, usually, crawfish.


Filé – {fee lay} A powder made from dried sassafras leaves, sprinkled on gumbo after it is removed from the heat. Used as a thickening agent.

Float – lavishly decorated vehicle used in Mardi Gras parades, from which beads, doubloons and other small trinkets are thrown.

Fais Do Do – {fay dough dough} cajun party with music, dancing and plenty of food which usually goes late into the night; Literally translates as “go to sleep,” which is what the dancers would tell their children. Traditionally, these dances would be held in a home and all the children would be delegated to one room.


Garconniere – {gah son yair} the bachelor’s quarters on a plantation, usually located behind the kitchen.

Grillades – {gree yahds} squares of broiled beef or veal.

Gris Gris – {gree gree} Voodoo spell that brngs good or bad luck.

Grits – coarsely ground hominy corn, somewhat similar in appearance to mashed potatoes, but with a grainy texture, often served with butter or gravy.

Gumbo – thick, spicy soup prepared with ingredients such as rice, sausage chicken and okra.

Gumbo Ya Ya – when everybody talks at once.


Jambalaya – {jahm buh ly yah} spicy dish made with rice and combinations of seafood, chicken, turkey, sausage, peppers and onions.

Joie de vivre – {zhwa-duh-veev} the “joy of living.”

Juju – {joo joo} Voodoo spell that brings good luck.


King cake - Traditional yeast coffee cake served during the Mardi Gras season. The King cake honors the Magi who visited the Christ child on the “twelfth night” or Epiphany. The cake is a continuous circle, decorated with yellow, purple and green sugars, the colors of Mardi Gras. The first king cake is made on the Epiphany (January 6), and a little plastic baby doll, bean or nut (representing the baby Jesus) is baked into the cake. When served, the person with the baby in his or her piece hosts the next king cake party. This goes on until Mardi Gras, or the day before Lent begins.

Krewe – {kroo} a social organization that puts on Mardi Gras balls and parades. Members ride floats and throw beads and doubloons to the crowds at Mardi Gras.


Lagniappe – {lan yap} a little something extra.

Laissez Les Bons Temps Roulez – {lay zay lay bon ton rool lay} French for “Let the good times roll.”

Levee – an embankment built to keep the river from overflowing; a landing place on the river.


Mirliton – {mel ee ton} a hard-shelled vegetable pear with edible innards, it is cooked like squash and stuffed with ham or shrimp and spicy dressing.

Muffuletta – {muff a lot ta} a round Italian sandwich as big as your head, made with a variety of meats and olive salad.

Mojo – {mo jo} Voodoo spell that brings bad luck.


Parish – Political division similar to counties in other states. Louisiana is the only state which has parishes rather than counties. .

Pirogue – {pee roe} a cajun canoe, originally made from a dugout cypress log, usually flat on the bottom and pointed at both ends.

Po-boy – a long sandwich on French bread usually stuffed with oysters, shrimp or roast beef. A “dressed” po-boy comes with mayonaise, lettuce and tomato.

Praline – {praw leen} the sweetest of sweets, this New Orleans tradition is a candy patty the essential ingredients of which are sugar, water and pecans.

Prayer Beads – garlic braids that hang in the French Market of New Orleans.


Roux – {roo} seasoned flour browned in oil in a skillet used to start almost all Louisiana dishes.

Rue – {roo} the French word for street, used in the New Orleans French Quarter.


Sauce Piquante – {saus pee kauhn} tomato-based stew made with any sort of meat, fish or game, served over rice or pasta.

Second Line – a celebratory dance accompanied by jazz, and decorated umbrellas; a New Orleans tradition at weddings, jazz funerals and other festive occasions. The First Line consists of the somber mourners at a jazz funeral.


Two-step – a traditional Cajun dance similar to a polka.


Vieux Carre – {vyoo kah ray} the French name for the French Quarter; it means “Old Square”

Voodoo – mysterious religion involving charms and spells that came to Louisiana via the Caribbean.


Where Y’at – Contraction for “Where are you at?’ In some neighborhoods in New Orleans this is how you say “How are you doing?”


Zydeco – {zy deh ko}a blend of African and Cajun music highlighted by the accordian and the washboard.

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