JACKSON, Miss.- Originating in Mississippi’s neighbor to the west, gumbo is a southern favorite food which is annually celebrated on National Gumbo Day, October 12.
Gumbo came from a West African word for okra, which many believe is how the name and actual ingredients were combined. It is usually made up of a strongly flavored stock, meat or shellfish, a thickener and some seasoned vegetables.
The vegetables include celery, bell peppers, and onions, which many in Cajun country call the “holy trinity.”Most often the dish is served over rice.
It is believed that the first bowl of Gumbo was documented in 1802 when listed in various cookbooks. It spread through the U.S. in the 1970’s when the United States Senate cafeteria added Gumbo to the menu in honor of Louisiana Senator Allen Ellender.
There are plenty of recipes to follow to eat good Gumbo, and supporters of the dish are encouraging everyone to try a little in honor of National Gumbo Day.