Cajun country is steeped in tradition, with its former isolation accounting for its slow assimilation into greater American culture. As the decades continue on, many Cajuns are desperately trying to preserve their culture for the future generations to enjoy and pass down. Most families have their own take on Cajun traditions in Breaux Bridge, LA, but there are a few traditions that seem to be universal.
Good Friday Crawfish Boil
Nothing says Good Friday more than a crawfish boil in the crawfish capitol of the world. Breaux Bridge is a heavily Catholic area, which means no meat on Fridays during the Lenten season. There are few things more perfect to entertain a group on a day people are restricted to eating seafood than a crawfish boil in Breaux Bridge, LA that brings people together and gets them outside (weather permitting). Easter is also around peak crawfish farming season, so the prices are good, and the crawfish are big and succulent.
Egg pocking is a traditional Cajun game played on Easter Sunday played by two people who test their boiled egg’s strength by tapping them against each other. The egg that doesn’t crack is the egg that wins, and the owner of that egg goes on to play against the other people whose eggs have not cracked yet. It plays almost like a tournament, with the group of challengers shrinking until only two are left, with the winner of that match winning the game. The name of the game comes from the French word paques (egg paquing) and changed to pocking because the pronunciation is similar. “Paques” literally translates to “Easter.”
Sweet Dough Pies
In many Cajun families, Good Friday can be spent fasting until the hour of Jesus crucifixion. To pass the time, sweet dough pies in many flavors are made in preparation for Easter and the breaking of the fast. The most traditional flavor is called tarte a la bouille which translates to “burnt milk tart.” The crust is a delicious, sweet dough similar to a sugar cookie, and the filling is a traditional milk and egg custard flavored with vanilla. Some families make other flavors such as blackberry, pineapple, and more.