Some of the most delicious food comes straight from New Orleans, Louisiana and surrounding regions. It’s the place where you can find Creole cooks making “red” jambalaya consisting of meat, onions, celery and bell pepper. Once the flavors have started blending seafood and tomatoes are added then followed by rice and stock. There are times when tomatoes can be hard to come by in the Louisiana bayous so jambalaya there starts with browned smoked meat, giving it a specific flavor and earthy hue. Then seasonings and stock are added, the meat put back into the pot and rice added at the end.
In the early day in America dishes were created so that they would be delicious and flavorful but inexpensive and made with ingredients that were on hand. Most likely the Spanish were the first to substitute the tomato for the more expensive ingredient saffron when they made their paella. The tomato provided the orangey color needed for the paella and the saffron was not missed. The French contributed many different spices that were brought from the Caribbean. Meanwhile Cajun cooks looked for bayou game in the swamps so they could add meat to their pots.
Jambalaya remains a mixture of many various ingredients and cooks are always improving on what happens to be in their pots. Today this delicious food remains like a party in one-pot and it can be an expensive taste treat for both a small group of eaters or even for a crowd.