Date: 2024-01-24

New Orleans School of Cooking Gumbo

Have you been boning up on your cooking skills? The staff at Mayflower certainly has been taking this time to practice some of our favorite dishes that we have learned while traveling! One of our beloved meals comes from the famed New Orleans School of Cooking, Gumbo! And we are sharing their recipe for you to make at home!

So What Is Gumbo?

Gumbo is a hearty stew that’s served hot over rice. Gumbo can be made with numerous combinations of fresh or smoked sausage, meat, seafood, and/or vegetables. Gumbo is a symbol of Louisiana cuisine, but its origins are varied and its history complex. As author Toni Tipton-Martin explains in Jubilee, “The word gumbo comes from gombo, the word in several West African languages for okra, which may explain why early renditions of the thick, aromatic stew contained okra, along with vegetables, meat, or seafood.” Other historians posit that gumbo has roots in Choctaw stew; some recipes still call for Native American filé powder, made from dried and ground leaves of sassafras trees, to thicken and flavor the stew. Still others believe that French influence factors in and that gumbo is a derivation of bouillabaisse, a Provencal fish stew. Later, gumbo recipes started to incorporate French and Creole influence by making a roux to thicken the dish.