A good gumbo is widely disputed, and there are so many different ways that it is served that some people might be confused about what is real and what is an imitator. You’re probably familiar with seafood gumbo as well as the classic chicken and andouille sausage gumbo, but there are many other ways to eat this popular dish than you may know. As restaurants around the globe try to imitate what is often sought out in Louisiana, let’s take a look at the different forms and variations of gumbo.
What makes a gumbo creole is one extra ingredient: tomatoes. The roux that is made for this specific type of gumbo is also a light colored roux and usually paired with seafood. However, many locals would argue that tomatoes are NEVER supposed to come close to the gumbo pot.
As in most culinary cultures, religion has a great impact on the dishes of South Louisiana. In the predominantly Catholic region of Acadiana, meat is consumed sparingly during the Lenten season leading up to Easter. Gumbo Z’herbes, (gumbo of herbs), has become an alternative usually served on Holy Thursday or Good Friday and contains nine different kinds of herbs.
Sometimes they are boiled, and sometimes they are poached. Either way, many people enjoy adding an egg or many eggs to their gumbo. Some people even drop in whisked eggs to make their gumbo similar to egg drop soup.
Gumbo with Potato Salad
When it comes to potato salad in gumbo, you either read this and knew exactly what we are talking about or thought that we had lost our mind. The gumbo potato salad has no eggs or pickles and is mostly mashed and is perfect for eating with gumbo, whether you scoop it right into the gumbo bowl, or serve it on the side. This concept is regional and comes from the most southern parts of Louisiana.
Gumbo with Okra
The word gumbo comes from the Bantu word “achinggumbo” which translates to okra. While it may be etymologically correct to say that all gumbos must contain okra, that isn’t always the case. Some Louisiana cooks have a distaste for okra and use other thickening agents such as filé instead of okra.
Here at Slap Ya Mama, we know all about Gumbo. We love gumbo so much, we have a prize-winning gumbo recipe of our own. We always love experimenting with new unique recipe ideas, so who knows which of these gumbos we will try next. Do you have a gumbo recipe that differs from the norm? Let us know in the comments!