Variety is the spice of life. Right? Well, in Louisiana spice is the spice of life! Or maybe flavor.
It’s beyond cliche that we like things spicy here. Although most cooks and chefs will tell you we like things well-seasoned. No surprise then, that seasoning is a big business in this area. There are no shortage of homegrown seasonings or seasoning companies. Every family has their own favorite blend. So why not have a blend you can make on your own — and make a buck off of? Brothers Troy and Zo Bolden are doing just that with their company Cajun Nation.
Troy and Zo created the brand name in 2004 as an apparel company. When Zo’s wife needed to go on a low-sodium diet, they came up with another idea: a line of low-sodium, MSG free seasonings that pack all the flavor the gulf coast is known for. Cajun Nation took off. Today their products are found in major grocery and retail chains like Rouses, Albertsons and HEB in Texas. It’s still very much a family operation, and a Black-owned, veteran-owned business.
We’re constantly putting on our own spin or spice on pretty much every food you can find here in Louisiana. It’s not just seafood that we like to be well-seasoned. What about — macarons?
Cream Cheese & Pepper Jelly. Candied Jalapeno. Smoked Pecan. These are hardly traditional French flavors. They’re the brainchild of Virginia St. Germain, better known to her family as Tut — and the owner of Tut’s Bakery.
Virginia turned her passion for home-baking into a home business that specializes in made-from-scratch confections and baked goods. She makes her own yeast for sourdough bread, dough for seasonal pies, and fillings for those inventive, devilish macarons.
Virginia is a psychiatric nurse by trade. She operates the bakery at home in New Iberia with help from her husband.
Out to Lunch Acadiana is recorded live over lunch at Sunday’s Soda Fountain in downtown Lafayette. Photos by Astor Morgan.