On October 12th, the menu spotlights National Gumbo Day for food holidays. This heavily seasoned, stew-like dish fills us up on chilly fall days.
Originating in southern Louisiana during the 18th century, Gumbo typically consists of strongly-flavored stock with meat or shellfish, a thickener, and seasoned vegetables. The seasoned vegetables may include celery, bell peppers, and onions. In the Cajun cuisine, the trio is known as the “holy trinity. Most people serve Gumbo over rice. Gumbo is also usually categorized by one of the following types of thickener used:
- The African vegetable okra
- The Choctaw spice filé powder (dried and ground sassafras leaves)
- Roux (the French base made of flour and fat)
Gumbo arose from a West African word for okra. Many believe this word association is how the name and the ingredient also intertwined. Gumbo is thought to have been first documented in 1802 and was listed in various cookbooks in the latter 19th century. It gained widespread popularity in the 1970s when the United States Senate cafeteria added Gumbo to the menu in honor of Louisiana Senator Allen Ellender. Gumbo is also the official cuisine of the state of Louisiana. Since 1989, New Iberia, Louisiana hosts The World Championship Gumbo Cook-Off.
HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalGumboDay
Of course, you’re going to serve up your favorite gumbo dish. This terrific dish will also help you use up the last of the garden vegetables. Serve up a piping hot plate of it on a cool fall evening. Make enough to share, too. If you don’t have one, we’ve got you covered! Share recipes that keep your family coming back for more.
Use #NationalGumboDay to post on social media.