The Cajun people, of French descent, settled in this swampy bayou country after the British expelled them from Nova Scotia in 1755. Today, their descendants are the largest French-speaking minority in the US. Cajun French dialect is quite different from that spoken in France – it’s a blend of 18th century French with European influences and local Native American dialects. Cajun country, or Acadiana, spreads across southern Louisiana with Lafayette as its hub. Here, visitors can get out among the waterways, villages and ramshackle roadside taverns to understand how these people live, their Cajun and Zydeco music, and particularly what they eat.
It’s hard to find a bad meal here – most Cajuns love to cook such great dishes as jambalaya and etouffee, with lots of Creole seasonings. And if folks aren’t cooking or fishing, they’re probably dancing! You can expect to participate in a …quite, unique experiences.
Greg Bruce, a native of nearby New Orleans and a name well-known to many RVers, is WagonMaster of Fantasy RV Tours’ Cajun Heartland Caravan, beginning in New Orleans immediately following Mardi Gras. The group spends 14 days soaking up the nuances, cuisine and traditions of this unique culture.
“Cajun people are friendly, down to earth, and very hard working. This is not a tourist trap – this is reality because we learn about and live their lifestyle,” says Greg. Each evening, he cooks real Cajun meals for the group, or takes them out for authentic south Louisiana food. They visit a crawfish farm, where the owner runs his traps and explains the process. They go on an oil rig for lunch, learning the history of Louisiana’s oil business. They travel by airboat to explore swamplands and the local inhabitants. Cajun bands and performers join them in the evenings, and some even bring their families along to teach the group how to properly peel crawfish.
There are few places left in this world which have embraced their traditions and culture like the Cajun community, and the opportunity to immerse yourselves in this lifestyle is one you should not miss. As a fellow RVer, one with a passion for culture, history and food… I recommend this tour as a true winner.