Sunset at Prien Lake Park

Sunset at Prien Lake Park

Friday, April 8, 2016

G is for Gumbo -- #atozchallenge

Few foods define a culture quite like gumbo, or as some are inclined to cleverly spell it, gumbeaux. Gumbo brings people together. When a cook makes a gumbo, he/she brings out the biggest pot imaginable and invites a crowd. It's a food that implies celebration. Gumbo was one of those foods completely new to me upon moving to Lake Charles. Not long after we came to Louisiana, I got on a gumbo kick and ate it voraciously. Every restaurant I went to, I had to try the gumbo. It's a food that never tastes the same twice. Every cook has their own unique recipe, likely passed down through generations. It is basically a stew with onions, celery, peppers, and some type of protein, served with rice. The most common varieties are chicken and sausage or seafood, ie shrimp, crab, or crawfish. Some versions have okra, which I do not particularly care for. And some have a seasoning called filé, which is made from ground sassafras leaves.

Bridge City, Louisiana hosts a Gumbo Festival; this year it will take place October 14-16. To be honest, I suspect many Louisiana cities have gumbo festivals of some sort. It's that kind of thing. Lake Charles likely has two or three a year!  But according to the Bridge City website, the Gumbo Fest in this town of approximately 8,000 people is "World Famous"! It says over 2000 gallons of both seafood and chicken/sausage gumbo are prepared and served during the festival. Wow!

Gumbo is such an integral part of Louisiana culture, I've written two posts on the subject, and it is mentioned in countless others. You can read my thoughts on gumbo here and here.

Stay tuned! Tomorrow we celebrate hot air balloons and honey bees.


A Tarkabarka Hölgy said...

My SO's family makes gumbo as a family tradition, and it is delicious. He warns everyone never to ask what is in gumbo, though :D Probably for the better. Still, I agree, it never tastes the same twice, but it is almost always delicious :)

@TarkabarkaHolgy from
The Multicolored Diary

Angie Kay Dilmore said...

Right, best not to ask sometimes.