The Main Reason Gumbo is Called Gumbo

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					The Main Reason Gumbo is Called Gumbo
When you talk about Cajun cuisine, I'm sure you have probably heard the
word Gumbo. But have you ever wondered what gumbo is?
The word gumbo literally means Okra. The French settlers in the Louisiana
territory had trouble finding their usual ingredients for their French
dishes so they substituted with the common local ingredients. These were
mainly, fish, okra and shrimp.
Gumbo consists of two basic ingredients. These ingredients are rice and
broth. The rice used in gumbo is traditionally white rice that is steamed
or boiled. A touch of salt and/or vinegar may be added for flavor.
The broth for gumbo is where the differences come in. Broth may be made
from a variety of things. A very common type of gumbo broth includes
shrimp, crab and oysters. But the variety doesn't stop there. There is
gumbo broth that is made with chicken, duck, turkey and even quail.
True gumbo will contain okra. While some people may think of okra as a
disgusting, gelatinous vegetable, this is not an accurate description
once it is cooked in a gumbo dish.
The gelatinous fibers in the okra will dissolve when heated and it will
serve as a thickening agent for the gumbo.
In fact, if the okra is really fresh and sliced really thin, there will
be no visible evidence of the okra once the gumbo is cooked. The only
thing is will leave behind is a wonderful flavor. Even if whole pieces of
okra remain in the gumbo dish, it will be very soft. It is not slimy at
all and it tastes really good.
There are alternatives to okra that people will use and try to pass the
dish off as gumbo. The usual alternative thickening agent is a powder
that is made from dried sassafras leaves.
But this dried sassafras powder can become gummy when boiled. It must not
be simmered in the soup, but must be added right before serving or it can
be sprinkled on each individual dish at the table. This powder is used
when okra is not in season. But when sassafras powder is used, the dish
really shouldn't be called gumbo.
So there you have the basics for gumbo. If youre into Cajun cooking or
ready to get started cooking Cajun, start by finding some great gumbo
recipes. These recipes are relatively easy to make and can be a delicious
addition to your weekly dinner menu.
Chicken and Sausage Gumbo is just one of the Cajun recipes you'll find at
Cajun Cooking TV. For more Cajun recipes, go to -
http://www.cajuncookingtv.com/

				
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posted:10/14/2010
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