I am Tom Freeland, a lawyer in Oxford, Mississippi. The picture in the header is my law office. I'm on Twitter as NMissC

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Why am I not surprised that Bilbo left the African ingredient out of his gumbo recipe?

Theo Bilbo apparently took pride in himself as a chef, and was particularly proud of his recipe for what he called “French Gumbo.” While it omits the clearly African ingredient (okra)* and the Creole trinity (onions, celery, bell pepper), it does have a Native American ingredient (file, and actually another, pepper pods).

Besides the lack of vegetables, it seems a credible recipe up to the point where he tells you to cook it a long time after adding file. I don’t think that works. ┬áBut he does call for a very dark roux.

The recipe image is from the archives at the University of Southern Mississippi, where there is more information about Bilbo as a cook.

h/t Plexis


*I am aware that okra is often omitted from chicken gumbo recipes (including one that I cook) but could not resist the barb in the header.

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