TIME FOR GUMBO The greatest contribution of Louisiana kitchens
to American cuisine is gumbo. The word "gumbo" is derived from the Bantu
word for okra, "kingombo". Okra is indigenous to Africa. The Choctaw
Indians of Louisiana invented file' (ground sassafras). Toss in the
French and Spanish flavors and this dish is a classic Cajun/Creole/African/Indian
dish central to the celebration of
In some parishes of Louisiana, masked and costumed riders participate
in the courir de Mardi Gras, making the rounds of neighboring farms,
performing "monkey shines" and dancing in return for a live chicken,
a length of sausage, or rice for the evenings celebratory gumbo.
two gumbos are alike and each is as good as the cook who makes it. In
any kitchen gumbo amounts to a personal expression of creativity. Some
prefer gumbo thickened with slow-cooked okra and others add file` powder
just before serving.
Gumbo is neither a soup nor a stew, but a real meal in itself. The variety
is endless, chicken and sweet sausage, shrimp, oyster, seafood, duck
and audouille sausage, cabbage, rabbit, even squirrel and turtle. There
is also gumbo aux herbes, a melange of greens and herbs said to be created
originally for Good Friday. Some superstitious Creoles believed that
if one ate seven greens and met seven people on that day, good luck
would follow on the coming year.
Date and Time are