Hailing from Louisiana, the Cajun cuisine has contributed delicious and hearty meals with a substantial history. The cajun seasoning has been well-loved by many across the globe. You may have heard of this spice before but, if you’re not familiar with it, then you’ve come to the right place to get to know more about this rustic seasonal blend.
If many food lovers have appreciated the spice, what makes cajun seasoning so special? To answer that question, the cajun seasoning is a flavorful blend of spices and herbs consisting of paprika, cayenne pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, thyme, black pepper, and oregano.
Cajun seasoning has a very distinct taste that adds personality to a dish. It’s not a surprise that many enjoy the blend of spices it offers. To learn more about cajun seasoning and all of its glory, then continue reading this article.
Cajun seasoning is a spice that originated in Louisiana. The term “Cajun” came from the term “Acadian”, which was a group of people (mostly coming from France) who immigrated to Acadia. Acadia used to be a colony of France in the northeastern part of North America and what is now called the Canadian Maritime Provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island.
What Is Cajun Seasoning Made Out Of?
Cajun seasoning comprises cayenne pepper, paprika, black pepper, oregano, garlic powder, and thyme. This interesting blend of spices and herbs creates a unique flavoring that goes well with specific dishes.
The spice is typically described as having a spicy and earthy taste. The bold spiciness it holds comes from the blend of peppers included, whereas the other spices are responsible for letting out that earthy flavoring.
What Are The Spices Used In Cajun Seasoning?
Since Cajun seasoning contains a variety of spices that are adjusted to one’s taste, the most common spices are the ones aforementioned.
Below, you will learn more about the spices in cajun seasoning, from their flavor profile to any health benefits that they can possibly bring.
01 -Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne pepper is one of the primary ingredients in Cajun seasoning. Since cayenne pepper packs a lot of heat, it is mainly responsible for giving the seasoning a spicy kick. No cajun seasoning is complete without cayenne pepper.
This red pepper has a spiciness that’s much higher compared to jalapeños. Basing it off the Scoville heat scale, the cayenne pepper has about 30,000-50,000 Scoville Heat Units.
Cayenne pepper has medical benefits such as improving digestion, protecting the heart, boosting metabolism, and clearing nasal congestion. It’s rich in vitamins C, A, B6, and K.
02 – Paprika
Just like the cayenne pepper, paprika is also an important spice needed in cajun seasoning. Although it also comes from peppers, the paprika is sort of like a milder cousin of the typical hot chili peppers. The spice is a mellow aromatic ingredient, providing a hint of sweetness and giving off that vibrant red color at the same time.
Paprika helps with promoting healthy vision, improving one’s cholesterol levels and blood sugar control, reducing inflammation, and is said to have anti-cancer properties.
You don’t always have to rely on store-bought Cajun seasoning options when you can get an even better version at home. Click on this link and go into this post for a simple homemade Cajun seasoning recipe.
03 – Black Pepper
Black pepper may appear as a basic ingredient, but adding this simple spice to a dish is enough to modify and impact it. The spice comes in many different variations, but ground black pepper is typically used in cajun seasoning.
Black peppers contain antioxidants and phenolic acids, which help improve oxidative stress. The spice has other health benefits, such as improving digestion, aiding in weight loss, providing respiratory relief, and lowering blood pressure.
04 – Oregano
Oregano is a spice added to the cajun seasoning because of its earthy flavor, and it creates a perfect balance between this spiciness the seasoning brings. Dried oregano is used explicitly in cajun seasoning.
This spice is said to have health benefits such as relieving inflammation, fighting bacteria, and may also contain anti-cancer properties.
Cajun seasoning and tajin seasoning have their own way of adding flavor to foods, but they also have some notable differences. So, if you are interested in checking out what these differences are, click on this link and refer to this post.
05 – Garlic Powder
When you dehydrate garlic cloves and grind them into fine pieces, what do you get? You get garlic powder! This is a necessity in every spice rack at home. The flavor you get with it is still garlicky but less intense than fresh garlic. It has a hint of sweetness that adds dimension to the seasoning so that it’s not just loaded with heat, and there’s still some flavor to it.
More than just being a flavorful spice, garlic powder has some health benefits, such as reducing high blood pressure and cholesterol levels and supporting the prevention of cancer and cardiovascular diseases.
To capture the authentic cajun seasoning flavor, it’s best to use dried thyme instead of fresh ones. Dried thyme has a much more robust flavor than fresh thyme, so it’s best to use it sparingly or less than the typical amount of fresh thyme.
Thyme contains vitamin C, which is good for immune support. It also helps with lowering blood pressure, alleviating sore throat and an upset stomach.
Where Can You Use Cajun Seasoning?
Since this is an all-around blend, adding it to any dish or meal will elevate its flavor. You can use the cajun seasoning on shrimp, tacos, over fries, or when you follow the classic recipes such as gumbo or jambalaya.
It may not seem very satisfying if you haven’t used cajun seasoning in cooking before, but it’s a very flexible seasoning that you can use to experiment on other dishes. You can make cajun-flavored fries or popcorn, and it’s really a trial-and-error with this one since everyone has different taste preferences.
What Is A Good Substitute For Cajun Seasoning?
If you’ve run out of the spice in your kitchen or can’t seem to find it in your grocery, then don’t fret because it’s not the end of the world. While cajun seasoning is a unique spice, there are some alternatives you can try to use to replace it. The result may not be 100% perfect, but it’s the closest you can get to achieving the authentic cajun taste.
01 – Old Bay
Like Cajun seasoning, the old bay is a blend of spices that people use to add flavor to any meal. However, there is a recognizable distinction between the two. Cajun seasoning is more focused on the blend of peppers, while old bay leans more on the mix of spices.
Old bay seasoning contains spices such as nutmeg, allspice, cloves, and cardamom.
02 – Fajita Seasoning
Fajita seasoning provides a lot of heat and spice that cajun seasoning has, making this a good alternative. The difference between the two is that the fajita seasoning lacks herbs, which may not hinder trying to replicate the taste. Just add a teaspoon of dried herbs with the mix.
03 – Creole Seasoning
This seasoning may be the most similar out of those mentioned in this article. This is because Creole and Cajun share similar French roots. Cajun seasoning relies more on peppers, whereas Creole seasoning focuses more on its combination of dried herbs. Adding a bit of cayenne or chili flakes to the mixture is recommended.
Is Cajun Seasoning Healthy?
Cajun seasoning contains spices and peppers that include a lot of health benefits. So, it’s safe to say that the seasoning itself is healthy, and it will have to depend on what kind of dish or recipe you’re cooking. And remember that moderation is vital, so if you can’t handle a lot of spice, don’t add too much of the seasoning.
Now you’ve familiarized yourself with the different ingredients used for cajun seasoning. It’s a scrumptious blend of flavorful ingredients that adds a lot of personality to the dishes.
Throughout the years, Cajun cuisine as a whole has been experimented with and popularized. Many people seem to enjoy the unique taste it offers, which is no surprise at all. Incorporating cajun seasoning into the dish is an excellent way of acquainting yourself with the cuisine.
So if you haven’t tried adding cajun seasoning to your dishes, then you should definitely try it out!