I probably don’t have to tell you that food is very important in the South. In Louisiana they have raised food to an art form. It has always been that way – at least for my people – the Cajuns.
George Rodrigue, the guy who became famous for painting a blue dog, created several paintings of the Cajun people.
The one I am sharing here was based on a photograph taken of several of my family members. This picture, and others Rodrigue created, depicts a social custom practiced in South West Louisiana (especially in the New Iberia area) the Aioli Dinner. The Aioli Dinner was a social gathering which met at a different plantation home each month, these groups were also known as Creole Gourmet Societies. The term Aioli refers to a garlic-butter sauce, and in the 1800s the term Creole, as it was used by the people of Louisiana, referred to someone who was born in Louisiana but whose parents were European (usually French or Spanish). Much as the term “Chicano” indicates a person who was born in the United States but whose parents were from Mexico.
During this event the men sat at the table, each with his own bottle of wine, partaking of the wonderful food that the women had prepared and the boys served. Aioli Dinners would last for about six hours. These clubs were very popular between 1890 and 1920. The meals would be lavish amounts of food, but not the Cajun cuisine of today. In fact the gentlemen at the table and the women serving them would not have called themselves Cajun. They were French, and their cuisine was Creole. This was the cuisine of the French “high society” living in Louisiana.
To me it is of little wonder that the Cajun people would combine cooking, eating, medicine and magic.
There are many workings used in Hoodoo/Conjure that involve food or cooking. Stop me if you’ve heard this one…
If you are a single man… never eat marinara sauce prepared by a single woman. It is possible for her to “bewitch” you by adding her menstrual blood to the sauce.
Of course most everyone in the South knows you eat black eyed peas on New Years day for health, wealth and good luck in the New Year.
Since many foods are natural plant items (ie: strawberries, potatoes, herbs) it goes to follow that you could use particular foods in a spell that you eat. For example, most everyone is familiar with the idea of food as an aphrodisiac. Oysters are supposed to raise your libido. Bananas and cucumbers look like an erect phallus. (So this could be considered to fall under the Doctrine of Signatures, where something is believed to work on the part of the body it resembles.)
So, in my mind it is not a huge leap for spells/workings to be placed into food and then served up to your target.
If you wish to use this kind of magical workings you not only have to become a decent cook but you also need to understand which ingredients do what.
Here is a short list of some of the food ingredients you might use and what they are used for.
Sugar/Honey - to sweeten people up
Cinnamon – for money and for success in business
Nutmeg – for money in business
Cloves – to stop gossip, for luck, for friendship
Catnip – for flirtation
Vanilla – for love and romance, makes one more loving
Salt – protection
Grapefruit – Heal a relationship
Rice – attracts wealth and prosperity
Baking Soda – to increase your power
Garlic – protection
Pepper – protection or to send someone away
I hope this has given you an interesting way of looking at the foods you prepare. Share with me any recipe ideas you might have in the comments. I would be interested in where you take this.
I am Hexeba Theaux. My family has been in Louisiana since the 1700s and most of them still live there. Good Cajun folk. Heck, if you throw a rock in St. Martinville, Louisiana you'll probably hit one of my cousins. I have practiced Southern Folk Magic since I was a child. These are my thoughts on what is called Hoodoo or Conjure. I own and operate CajunConjure.com.