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Learn more about the flavors that are all wrapped up in this one little dish that hails from the cultures of Africa, France and the United States. It’s time for National Gumbo Day!

History of National Gumbo Day

While many think that everything coming from New Orleans has a French influence, that’s not necessarily the case with gumbo.With roots in African culture, the dish called gumbo offers a unique, spicy flavor that offers a delicious foray into Southern, Cajun cooking. 

Gumbo seems to have originated in the 18th century after the slave trade meant a significant portion of the population of New Orleans had arrived from West Africa. In fact, research suggests that it is through the West African culture that okra based stews were made, eventually evolving into the dish that is now known as “gumbo”.

The name for gumbo is a bit contested, but some historians believe that it came from an African term “kombo” or “ki ngombo” which means okra. But others think it might have been related to the French population that was also located in New Orleans, perhaps something like “un gombeau”.

National Gumbo Day was founded to celebrate everything related to this delicious dish that has roots in West Africa as well as French-occupied New Orleans. It’s a combination of spicy Cajun or Creole flavors as well as shrimp, andouille sausage, vegetables – with okra being a classic ingredient.

It’s time to learn about this dish and enjoy National Gumbo Day!

How to Celebrate National Gumbo Day

Have fun participating with National Gumbo Day with some of these ideas for celebrating the day:

Learn How to Make Gumbo

Grab some vegetables, and andouille sausage and throw them together to cook in some butter. Add Cajun seasonings and chicken broth, then allow the combination to simmer for about an hour so that the flavors have a chance to meld together. Add the shrimp to the pot for the last few minutes and then serve on top of white rice. 

Head to New Orleans

Since this is the place where gumbo was created, a visit to Louisiana is the perfect way to enjoy and celebrate National Gumbo Day! Located near the Gulf of Mexico on the Mississippi River, New Orleans is known not only for its delicious cuisine but also for its nightlife, history and round-the-clock jazz music. Of course, while visiting this city known as “The Big Easy”, it is certainly recommended to order up a dish filled with amazing local gumbo!

Learn Fun Facts About Gumbo

One clever way to celebrate National Gumbo Day is to impress friends, family members and coworkers with bits of trivia and knowledge related to the dish of the day. Start with some of these interesting facts about gumbo:

  • The first cookbook to include a recipe for gumbo was The Virginia Housewife by Mary Randolph in 1824.

  • In 2018, a Los Angeles based chef set the world record for the largest ever pot of seafood gumbo, made at the Walk-On’s Independence Bowl. The record was set at 6500 pounds of seafood gumbo. 

  • Gumbo is cooked for a minimum of three hours but often simmers all day.

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