Karl’s Creole vs. Cajun Spice Blends

An oft asked question on the internet is: What is the difference between Creole Spice vs. Cajun Spice blends? There is a lot of confusion surrounding these two mixes of spice. Frequently, they are treated as being identical, but they are not.

Scarbelly took the time to track down and identify the differences between the two. Many of the ingredients were the same and many had the same proportions in the mix. The Creole blend had slightly less paprika, and a lot less black pepper and cayenne (red pepper). While the Cajun blend included salt, the Creole had three additional spices; sweet basil, white pepper, and celery seeds.

Note: At the bottom of the post I have included Scarbelly’s blends (adjusted and reordered to be easily comparable).

Besides having a lot more salt—because it is cheap filler—commercial blends of Creole and Cajun spice usually contain filé powder, the ground leaves of the native sassafras tree. Authentic cooks only add this souring agent and thickener at the end of the cooking time and certainly not to every dish in the cuisines. Like the discovery I made about berbere spice blends sold in America, this is a commercial short cut that has nothing to do with the role of the spice in the dish. Added at the beginning of cooking you may retain some of the sour flavor, but it will certainly lose its thickening properties.

With what I learn in developing this spice blend I find I must rewrite the Cajun spice blend I posted last year. I am including the new mix here as well as the Creole blend. While not an “authentic” Louisianan spice, I prefer to use Indian chili powder, which uses the entire chili pepper. It has more flavor than cayenne and you need much less to get a “kick.” This more than anything else is what makes these “Karl’s blends.”

Karl’s Creole Spice Blend

Ingredients

1 Tbs. sweet paprika
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. oregano, dried
1 tsp. sweet basil, dried
1 tsp. thyme leaves, dried
½ tsp. black pepper
½ tsp. white pepper
½ tsp. celery seed
¼ Indian chili powder (or ½ tsp cayenne)

Directions

1. Put all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix well.

Karl’s Cajun Spice Blend II

Ingredients

1 Tbs. Spanish paprika
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. black pepper, fresh cracked
1 tsp. Indian red pepper power

Directions

1. Put all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix well.

*************************************************

Scarbelly’s blends (adjusted and reordered to be easily comparable).

Creole Spice Blend

5/6 Tbs. sweet paprika
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. dried oregano leaves
1 tsp. dried sweet basil
½ tsp. dried thyme leaves
½ tsp. black pepper
½ tsp. white pepper
½ tsp. cayenne pepper
½ tsp. celery seed

Cajun Spice Blend

1 Tbs. paprika
½ Tbs. salt
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
½ tsp. dried oregano leaves
1 tsp. dried thyme leaves
½ Tbs. black pepper
1 tsp. ground red pepper

3 Comments

Filed under California Fusion, Sauces and Spices, Vegan, Vegetarian

3 responses to “Karl’s Creole vs. Cajun Spice Blends

  1. Pingback: Karl’s Creole Gumbo | Jabberwocky Stew

  2. Pingback: Karl’s Filé Gumbo (Andouille, Chicken & Shrimp) | Jabberwocky Stew

  3. Pingback: Karl’s Creole Jambalaya | Jabberwocky Stew

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