How the Holy Trinity Became the Heart of Cajun Cooking
It’s much more than three ingredients.
If you know anything about Cajun cooking, you know that the heart and soul of most traditional dishes is a mixture of celery, onions, and bell peppers.
The “Holy Trinity,” as it’s called, is clearly highly regarded by Cajun and Creole cooks, hence the Biblical name.
WATCH: What Is Gumbo? A Look at Origins, Types, and Recipes
It’s more than a jumble of diced vegetables—it truly is the lifeblood of many Southern dishes you know and love, like gumbo and jambalaya.
Here’s everything you need to know about the flavorful blend:
A Rich History
As you likely know, New Orleans’ history is deeply French.
Mirepoix, which translates to “holy trinity,” is a base made from diced vegetables that are cooked slowly on low heat to sweeten and deepen the flavors. It’s almost always made with a combination of onions, celery, and carrots.
Named after the 17th century Duke of Mirepoix (a town in Southwestern France), the mix is the foundation of countless French soups and stews.
When the French Catholics and Acadians settled in New Orleans in the early 1700s, they quickly realized that the ground wasn’t suitable for growing carrots. But do know what does grow well in Louisiana soil? You guessed it: bell peppers. Acadians—or “Cajuns,” as pronounced by English-speaking Louisianians—made the switch, and Southern cuisine was changed forever.
How to Make the Holy Trinity
Unlike traditional mirepoix, which is uses a ratio of 1:2:1 of carrots to onions to celery, the Holy Trinity is made from equal parts celery, onions, and bell peppers.
Finely chop your ingredients and slowly cook them in vegetable oil to release their rich flavors.
Cooking With the Holy Trinity
Use your mixture as a jumping off point for almost any gumbo, jambalaya, or red beans and rice recipe you want—or make one of our 26 favorite Creole dinners that call for the blend.