Author: David Cheramie

To Roux or Not to Roux

The question came up innocently enough on a Facebook group page about south Louisiana culture. Some of the most intense discussions seem to revolve around food, which should be no surprise since so many of our conversations involve what our…

Trail Blazers

Acadiana is a region steeped in history, culture and tradition and its people are known for their irrepressible and entrepreneurial spirit. It is with this idea in mind that we created the Acadiana Profile Trailblazers. Some of the honorees are people you’ve…

Brown Cotton

Long forgotten due to its low commercial value, brown cotton is experiencing a renaissance in popularity among those who want to rediscover the "home-made" aesthetic. Not as commercially coveted as white cotton, its cultivation has long been a family affair.…

The Sacred and the Profane

On the 15-mile drive south from Houma to Chauvin, if we weren’t paying attention, we might have missed the plot of land on our right as we rode along the appropriately named Bayouside Drive. We noticed an incongruous-looking lighthouse on…

Grand Isle, mon amour

LA 1 crosses the state diagonally, from the confines of its border with Texas and Arkansas, to its other extremity, where it ends in a cul-de-sac surrounded by a motel, a restaurant and a small port harboring sport and commercial…

The Rougarou: The Wild Man of the Bayous

The legend of the werewolf, member of the pantheon of movie monsters like the Mummy, Dracula, or Dr. Frankenstein’s creature, is found across multiple eras and diverse countries. We know the basic facts: the transformation from human to wolf during…

Plus ça change:

Quo Vadis Arte? Where does the Acadiana Center for the Arts go from here? What happens to the arts when public assemblies are restricted? Where does the local art scene go? An interview with Acadiana Center of the Arts’ Executive…

Musical Magic

Festivals Acadiens et Créoles is usually the highlight of the region’s fall festival season. As both temperatures and the likelihood of hurricanes drop, lovers of Cajun and creole music flock from around the world to Girard Park in Lafayette. Things…

Sugar Cane

In Acadiana, fall brings its promise of mildness after summer heat and humidity so thick it feels like stepping into a sauna on your doorstep. Finally, the north wind dries and sweeps the sky, leaving a light blue background with…

Plus ça change: We've seen this movie before

If you are much younger than I am, you probably don’t remember drive-ins. As a child, I went to one which was often packed with rows of cars parked before a ginormous screen. Tinny speakers cradled on rolled-down windows provided…

En Français, s'il vous plaît: French Mississippi

When Pierre Le Moyne d’Iberville began exploring the French colony of Louisiana in early January 1699, the exact location was not in what is now Louisiana, but in Mississippi. Fort Maurepas, in Ocean Springs near Biloxi, was the first permanent…

Plus ça change: Power Couple

The story of individual contributions to the various French cultures of south Louisiana appears in numerous documentaries, articles and books, but rarely do we hear about the role of couples, which strikes me as odd given the importance of family.…

En Français, s'il vous plaît: Campus Saint-Luc

At the end of the Canadian peninsula of Nova Scotia, more than two thousand miles from Louisiana, is a small village near St. Mary’s Bay called Church Point. With a little over a thousand inhabitants, you would be surprised to…

En Français, s'il vous plaît: La Christine

Before the Santa Claus that we know today with his red and white outfit appeared, the children of Acadiana did not wait for Père Noël, transported in a pirogue pulled by twelve alligators, the night of December 24 as one…

En Français, s'il vous plaît: Heart of a Pirate

He was born sometime during the 1770s, maybe somewhere in France, maybe in Saint Domingue, maybe somewhere else. He died in 1823 or in 1827 or perhaps in 1857, in Honduras, Mexico or God knows where. He might have grown…

En Francais, S'il Vous Plait: Social Media to the rescue

For a strictly oral language that dates back to the 18th century as we hear from the self-proclaimed “experts,” Louisiana French has a remarkably robust presence on the internet. While some are lamenting its passing and are filled with a…

Barry Jean Ancelet / Jean Arceneaux

When CODOFIL began, James Domengeaux did not hide the fact that he favored the teaching of "standard" French to Louisiana French because it was not a written language. Despite a literary past that included many talented writers, no French-speaking Louisianans…

Dr. William Arceneaux

  On the photo of the founder of CODOFIL, we read the following dedication: "4/11/84. To my dear and esteemed friend Wm "Bill" Arceneaux, the true Educational leader of the State who has also the responsibility of saving the French…

Becoming Cajun

A shuttle ride in Houston sets a young teen on the course to learn his culture

Wings over Acadiana

Passing through New Orleans International Airport, named for one of its most famous resident, Louis Armstrong, our visitors arriving in Acadiana are entitled to be confused by its IATA code, those three letters which designate the airports, MSY as it…

The Almighty Shrimp

When your name is Cheramie, it is difficult to deny your origins from Bayou Lafourche and even more difficult to walk around without pocket knife. Let me explain. The Cheramie men have the reputation of always having a knife on…

High Water Mark

“The deluge roared like a furious bull, the winds howled like the braying of an ass. The sun had disappeared, the darkness was total.” Thus Outa-Napishtim relates the Deluge to Gilgamesh in a Sumerian text from the middle of the…

The Brotherhood of the Black Pot

In the kitchen of any self-respecting south Louisianan, one can expect to find a number of utensils among its array: a wooden spoon exclusively for making the roux, a large rice cooker and the ubiquitous Magnalite roaster; all essential tools…

The Incorruptible Bald Cypress

The Atchafalaya Basin is the largest wetland in the United States, covering some 1.4 million acres, or 5,700 km2. It's 20 miles wide and 150 miles long. It is known for its alligator and crawfish trade, navigable waterways and natural…