Cajun cooking comes from the native French-speaking Acadian descendants inhabiting Louisiana and other American southern states. Bell peppers, onion and celery form the base of most dishes. Parsley, bay leaves, and scallions are commonly used, as well as garlic and cayenne pepper. Cajun cuisine as a whole is often considered more Mediterranean than North American.
This cuisine also borrows from African and Native American styles of cookery. Gumbo takes its name from the West African and Caribbean name for okra, which is often a main ingredient of these dishes. File, or powdered sassafras leaves, was used by the Choctaw Indians before Cajuns began cooking.
Cajun food, despite its reputation, is not necessarily spicy hot. Cajun spice blends are often richly flavoured without heat, although some Cajun spices could certainly burn you!