Making the Perfect Cajun Gumbo

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Photo by Quang Nguyen Vinh on

The perfect Cajun gumbo is not exactly a soup…not exactly a stew…but an ultimately thick and hearty dish consisting of the Cajun Holy Trinity…celery, bell peppers and onions…and perhaps one or several varieties of meat and seafood—such as andouille sausage, shrimp, and crab….and, what I think is the best part, the okra.

The perfect Cajun gumbo is the result of the merging together of several different cultural groups—such as French, Spanish, African, Irish, and American Indians—from as far back as the early 1800s….combining the best that the world has to offer into one great big pot of soup.

The perfect Cajun gumbo is one of these Southern comfort foods is gumbo…the ultimate comfort food if you’re from Louisiana…(trust me, my husband and I were stationed at Fort Polk for three years….only part that I did like about living there was the food.)…


There are so many different recipes for gumbo out there…but like any true Southerner knows, the best gumbo or any other ultimate comfort food can only be found in their mom or grandmother’s kitchen.



It;s amazing to look back and realize just how much time our own mothers…(well maybe)…but definitely our grandmothers in the Deep South spent in the kitchen, especially on Saturdays to get ready for “after meetin’ eatin'” on Sundays….another Deep South ritual.

Like most other comfort food in the Deep South, making gumbo does not require a recipe…you just “wing” it for the most part.



As for me personally, there are two types of people that I hate more than any other group in this great big world…those who can play piano by ear, and those who can cook without a recipe.

Most Southern chefs are the type of cook that can take a handful of this and a handful of that and whip up something awesome…I would love to say that I’m one of those chefs. 



Truth is…I’m not.



Gumbo recipes that you will find online will run the gamut from being as thick as porridge or as thin as soup…being a caramel color or being darker mahogany…consisting of sausage, ham, shellfish, chicken, and any and all other kinds of varmints—including such things that most of us not having grown up in the Deep South would even consider eating…such as squirrel.s

So in the next two posts, we’ll take a look at a few ingredients that can be used in gumbo…and then a few tips on how to make your own gumbo as good as your Cajun grandmother’s…(well, maybe not that good)…

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