Gumbo is a stew or soup that originated in southern Louisiana during
the 18th century. It consists primarily of a strongly flavored stock,
meat or shellfish, a thickener, and the vegetable holy trinity of
celery, bell peppers, and onions. Several different varieties exist.
Creole gumbo generally contains shellfish, tomatoes, and a thickener.
Cajun gumbo is generally based on a dark roux and is spicier, with
either shellfish or fowl. Sausage or ham are often added to gumbos of
either variety. After the base is prepared, vegetables are cooked down,
and then meat is added. The dish simmers for a minimum of three hours,
with shellfish and some spices added near the end. Gumbo is
traditionally served over rice. The dish combines ingredients and
culinary practices of several cultures, including French, Spanish,
German, West African, and Choctaw. It was first described in 1802, and
was listed in various cookbooks in the latter half of the 19th century.
The dish gained more widespread popularity in the 1970s, after the
United States Senate cafeteria added it to the menu in honor of Senator
Allen Ellender. Chef Paul Prudhomme's popularity in the 1980s spurred
further interest in gumbo. The dish is the official cuisine of the
state of Louisiana. (more...)
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Wiktionary's word of the day:
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What we hoped was that we could stop the coming end of the world.
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