Foundation. Flavor. Food.
Jambalaya, pronounced "juhm-buh-lahy-uh" is a Louisiana one pot dish of early Spanish and French influence. It's closely related to the saffron colored paella popular in Spanish cuisine. Like many early American dishes, jambalaya was born of necessity using whatever available and inexpensive ingredients that could be found. Jambalaya is traditionally made in three parts, with meat, vegetables and is then completed by adding rice.
Throughout southern Louisiana there has long been two very distinct groups of people had similar yet different lifestyles and types of cuisine that they preferred. One group is best known as Creole and the other as Cajun.
Creole cuisine sprung from the area's rich 18th century farmers' desire to develop their own majestic cuisine similar to that of Europe. Many of their original recipes were from France or Spain and when their classic French cooking techniques were combined with local foods they created their own signature cuisine - Creole cooking. Cajuns on the other hand are the desendents of French refugees transplanted to the area from Acadia, Canada. They lived outside the city, worked the land and formed a kindred spirit with the Germans, Spanish and Native Americans in the area.
Creole jambalaya (also known as red jambalaya) was traditionally found primarily in and around New Orleans, where it's simply known as 'jambalaya'. Cajun Jambalaya (sometimes referred to as rural jambalaya or brown jambalaya) emerged from Louisiana's low-lying swamp country. Each culture contributed their unique tweaks to this signature regional dish.
Creole jambalaya sprang from the French Quarter of New Orleans, which during the city's early formative years was mostly made up of immigrants from Spain and later France. This dish was an attempt by the Spanish to make a New World version of paella. Due to high import costs the key paella ingredient of saffron was extremely difficult to bring in so tomatoes became the substitute for saffron. The French influence on this dish included the addition of Caribbean spices to alter this dish even more. Creole jambalaya includes tomatoes, whereas Cajun jambalaya does not.
In New Orleans and the surrounding neighborhoods, Creole cooks made a "red" jambalaya that starts the "trinity" of onion, celery, and bell pepper. The trinity is typically 50% onions, 25% celery and 25% green or red bell pepper (proportions are often adjusted to suit that cook's individual taste) is added and sautéed until soft. Meat and tomatoes are added next. The meat is usually chicken, sausage (such as andouille or smoked sausage) and/ or seafood. Finally added to the pot are equal portions of rice and stock.
In the outlying Louisiana bayous, the Cajuns used meat that's plentiful in Louisiana's low-lying swamps and this was typically going to be some combination of alligator, boar, crawfish, duck, oysters, shrimp, turtle or venison.
Cajun jambalaya starts with smoked meat browned in a cast-iron pot, providing this variation of jambalaya with its distinctive flavor and brown, earthy hue (hence the name "brown" jambalaya). Once cooked the meat is removed from the pot and replaced with the onion, celery and bell pepper "trinity," stock and seasonings which are cooked together. Once this is cooked the meat is added back where the mixture is covered to simmer for at least one hour. Finally, the pot is brought back to a boil and the rice is added to the pot. It's then covered and left to simmer over very low heat for at least 1/2 hour without stirring. The dish is finished when the rice has cooked.
Cajun "brown" jambalaya has more of a smoky and spicy flavor than its city cousin Creole "red" jambalaya.
Jambalaya continues to be a complex dish filled with subtle flavor nuances and with as many variations as there are cooks who make it. These days it's often enjoyed as a one-pot party food, and remains a cravingly delicious and inexpensive way to serve a large group of friends and family.
Our Jambalaya Seasoning is more of the Creole version of Jambalaya seasoning but you could use it if you prefer to make the Cajun style (we promise not to tell anyone).
Hand blended from roasted garlic, toasted onion, cayenne, tomato, white pepper, black pepper, file powder, yellow mustard, thyme, bay leaves and sage. This is a salt free seasoning.
In September of 2019 our Chef/Owner, David Humphrey, started A&H Provisions to help bring a local option for spices to the Atlanta, Georgia area. An option that will give local residents the ability to have a spice merchant help them make the right choices when purchasing their spices. We will source our product so as to provide you with freshest product possible.
Chef David has been in the culinary industry for over 25 years. His first job was at Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, Illinois. After that he was hooked on the industry. He would continue to work with food whether it was in the back or front of house, in positions from entry level to managerial. In 2010, Chef David enrolled in culinary school at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts Chicago and then graduated in March of 2012 with an Associates Degree in Culinary Arts. He then began working at fine dining restaurants in Chicago, amongst them were, Bistro Bordeaux, Fork and A10. In 2016, He moved to Lawrenceville, Georgia and began working at restaurants there, then eventually switched over to Private Chef work before starting A&H Provisions.
At A&H Provisions, we have the belief that making great food starts with a solid FOUNDATION. Our spices provide that foundation for ultimate FLAVOR, which will give you the greatest tasting FOOD for you and your family.