New Orleans offers just about everything you can imagine.Â From street-side fortune tellers to never ending parties,Â this town has it all.Â Â But the best things offered at this mischievous paradise are its love for music & good food.Â Where else can youÂ findÂ musicians and gumbo around every corner?Â
So with Fat Tuesday (February 28) around our corner, I thought we’d tackle gumbo today.
Gumbo (from the Central Bantu work meaning okra) is a hearty, spicy stew found around the gulf coast of Mexico.Â When the French first settled in Louisiana, they brought their love for bouillabaisse, a seasoned fish stew.Â Much to their chagrin, the usual ingredients were unavailable in their new home, so they substituted with local fare.Â After about a century, with the help of Spaniards, Africans and the gulf coast natives, the stew was no longer recognizable as bouillabaisse and became gumbo.
The original gumbo was made with okra, and in southeast Louisiana it’s not gumbo unless there’s some swimming around.Â Okra serves as the flavor base through which all flavors meld.Â However, gumbo, like the cookie, can do just about anything. You can serve it on rice or pasta, your meats vary from loads of seafood to even quail.Â Make an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink gumbo and folks will think you have a Cajun drawl.
Stay tuned for my favorite Cajun Chicken & Savory Sausage Gumbo.