Originally Posted by tropics
Tried Okra once wasn't for me.Thanks for dropping by
Truth be told we don't put okra in our gumbo very often down in cajun country. There are many subtle and not so subtle regional variations in the cooking throughout Louisiana. I had some relatives from Brusly and Port Allen area that put okra in their gumbo often. I was born and raised in Baton Rouge and every so often had gumbo with okra in it. I moved to Lafayette later in life and in all my years living in Lafayette, I never saw okra in gumbo. Go figure.
The further east you get, toward New Orleans, the roux gets lighter and subsequently thicker (the darker the roux the less thickening power it has). As you get further west, toward Lafayette and cajun country, the roux for gumbo gets darker and you get subsequently thinner gumbo. FWIW, as mentioned by Foam, gumbo is a soup. It is in the soup section on menus in restaurants in Acadiana (that't the official term for cajun country-the area surrounding Lafayette). The reason we put a little rice in it is because we put rice in everything. So typically, its not something served over rice, like rice and gravy, but soup that we put a little rice in when we serve it. If you want to get really hardcore cajun we eat gumbo with potato salad quite often and you will likely see someone plopping a dollop of tater salad in their bowl of gumbo as well. Hell, then tear off a hunk of french bread and go to dipping!!! Damn, Im getting hungry as I am typing.
One other little tidbit: In cajun country, tomatoes are not allowed in the same zip code as gumbo. Any recipe that has tomatoes in the Gumbo is not cajun gumbo and the cook who does this is subject to jail time or steep fine of both!!
Having said all of that, it is really what you like so the main thing is to have fun and enjoy. As an example, I visited a friend out of state once who served me "Jambalaya". This stuff wasn't near bout even close to anything resembling Jambalaya. But ya know what?? It was damn delicious. It wasn't Jambalaya but it was good whatever it was. We pushed away from the table fat and happy and thats all that really matters.
Laissez les bons temps rouler!