By Beth D'Addono

A quick guide to downhome Louisiana gumbo

Gumbo, the official dish of Louisiana, is a staple of both Cajun and Creole cuisines.

Gumbo is a thick soup that's mostly seafood and vegetables, but can also have other meats like chicken, duck and sausage.

This South Louisiana tradition combines African, European and Native American cultures.

The word "Gumbo" is derived from the Bantu word for okra, "nkombo", since the plant is used in most recipes to thicken the pot.

Although associated closely with French bouillabaisse, it was the enslaved Africans who added the okra.

A dark, almost black roux is associated with the prairies west of the Atchafalaya Basin.

Photo courtesy of Beth D'Addono

A lighter roux, or the addition of tomatoes, is tied to southeast Louisiana east of the Atchafalaya.

However you make it, Gumbo is comfort in a bowl!

Try Emeril Lagasse's classic New Orleans style seafood gumbo at home!

Photo via Emeril Lagasse

Try this recipe
Try this recipe