Author: David Cheramie

The Restaurants of my Heart

The comfort that comes with the memory of the good smells and flavors that emanated from the kitchens of our childhood is often the source of deep happiness and creative inspiration. The French novelist Marcel Proust started his masterful work,…

Calling Acadiana Home

The waves of immigration that contributed to our culture in southern Louisiana did not cease with the end of the Grand Dérangement or with the last ship to transport enslaved Africans. More recently, the arrival of Vietnamese refugees or Spanish…

Charlene Richard

In the middle of southwest Louisiana’s prairie, in the village of Richard, is a small cemetery on Charlene Street. Over the years, it has become a place of pilgrimage for those in search of divine intercession. Buried there is a…

Traiteurs, Plants, and Prayers

Long before the establishment of the first medical schools in Europe in the 12th century, people needed healing in every region of the world and in every historical era. Traditional remedies vary from culture to culture, but they all carry…

The Stowaway

I was not exactly what you would call a delicate child. I ate everything you could find on a table in south Louisiana: fried shrimp, po-boys, crawfish boiled or étouffée, spaghetti, hamburgers, hot dogs, etc., etc., etc. American, Cajun, and…

Laissez les Bons Temps Rouler

I admit that every time I see or hear “Laissez les bons temps rouler,” I cringe a little and rub my ears. It is often pronounced with a dreadful accent and as to its spelling, it is sometimes extraordinarily creative.…

Migrating Places

The story of south Louisiana is one of constant flux and migration, going all the way back to the end of the Pleistocene Epoch when the melting Laurentide Ice Sheet allowed the…

Architecture and Nature

My parents’ house, where I grew up, was right behind my grandparents' house. With my childish eyes, I saw a huge house, almost a palace, with a brick staircase that climbed up to the sky. In reality, it was a…

New Thinking on Old Ideas

  A culture that does not change and evolve is destined, it is said, to wither and die. Over the last 50 years or so of the “French Renaissance” in Louisiana, there…

The Back Door is Always Open

This July marks the fourth anniversary of the passing of musician D. L. Ménard, the author of "La Porte en Arrière (The Back Door)", the most recorded and performed Cajun song according to folklorist Barry Jean Ancelet. It competes with…

Trailblazers

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…

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…

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.…