You can not come to New Orleans and not eat home style cooked gumbo. Sure, practically every restaurant you go to has gumbo offered on the menu. But it is always better to go to the ones that specialize in it. And with some help from NOLA CVB, Gumbo Shop was the chosen one for our Gumbo introduction.
The Gumbo Shop is a landmark and considered one of the top, award winning restaurants for Gumbo, Creole cooking and Louisiana style cooking in New Orleans.
Plus, the restaurant was super kid friendly with plenty of food for my kids to try out if they weren’t into what mommy was having. Although my oldest was dying to taste some Gumbo thanks to the huge influence of “Princess and the Frog” movie.
Fun Facts About Gumbo and the Influence it Has on Louisiana Cooking and History
- In New Orleans the French influence over local cooking was just the beginning. Throughout the years African slaves were often the cooks. Plus, due it this being one of the nation’s busiest ports citizens from Germany, Ireland, the French Caribbean Islands, Italy, Greece, Croatia and more recently, Asia have arrived here in droves all adding to the uniqueness of Louisiana’s cooking.
- The Choctaw Indians introduced powdered sassafras or filé which they called “kombo” to settlers as a staple for one of many styles of the indigenous soup we now call gumbo.
- The word Gumbo comes from the African word “kingumbo” meaning the vegetable okra.
- A gumbo usually contains either filé or okra as a thickener.
- Gumbo is a blend of many cultures, so is the origin of the word. However, the base of most gumbos is “roux” – flour and fat with seasonings that is browned to provide an almost nutty flavor.
- It is often cited as an example of the melting-pot nature of Louisiana cooking.
- The first documented references to gumbo appeared around the turn of the 19th century.
- Today, the gumbos people are most familiar with are seafood gumbo and chicken and sausage gumbo. But that merely scratches the surface of gumbo cookery, both historical and contemporary.
More About Gumbo
- Gumbo is a dish that originated in southern Louisiana from the Louisiana Creole people during the 18th century.
- It typically consists primarily of a strongly flavored stock, okra, meat or shellfish, a thickener, and seasoning vegetables.
- The dish likely derived its name from either the Bantu word for okra (ki ngombo) or the Choctaw word for filé (kombo).
- In New Orleans, what is known as Creole gumbo generally ranges from house to house though still retaining its African and Native origins.
- The dish combines ingredients and culinary practices of several cultures, including West African, French, Spanish, German, and Choctaw.
Information for Visiting the Gumbo Shop
Address: 630 Saint Peter Street, New Orleans LA, 70116
- Sunday thru Thursday, 11:00 am to 10:00 pm
- Friday & Saturday, 11:00 am to 11:00 pm