Blackening and charring are two distinct cooking techniques. Blackening refers to a specific Cajun and Creole recipe developed by chef Paul Prudhomme in the 1980s. It involves coating food in a spice mixture and cooking it in butter until a black crust forms. Charring, on the other hand, is the act of deliberately adding a small amount of burnt flavor to food by applying high heat. Charring can be applied to various cuisines and brings out smoky and caramelized flavors. Both techniques add depth and flavor to dishes but have different methods and ingredients.