Louisiana is known for many amazing things, but one of its most recognizable traits would have to involve a certain delicacy that gained traction and captivated many tongues throughout the years.
We are talking about gumbo.
While this delicacy might not be the first thing that comes to mind when one thinks of the state, it has been a staple in the area for quite some time. Yes, this food is served and enjoyed in many different states across the country, but no one can deny the fact that it is indeed a Louisiana dish through and through. That said, this dish is deeply ingrained in the history of the state, and it is important to better understand its possible origins.
The Origin of Gumbo
The origins of gumbo are somewhat vague for a variety of reasons. The thing is, this dish can be easily modified and changed. While it is often believed to be the creation of Native Americans, historians are still on the fence about this theory.
Another theory is that New Orleans’ French settlers introduced this dish to the area. However, there is also no way of confirming this. In fact, it is believed that many different cultures and ingredients were able to influence this dish well enough to blur its traceable origins.
Regardless of how it was created, gumbo is deeply rooted in the history of Louisiana and will likely be a staple in the area for centuries to come.
A Delightful Diversification
While this dish has been embraced and enjoyed by many residents of Louisiana for some time, it did not receive much attention on the national scale until the 1960s. At that time, Louisiana was recovering from Hurricane Betsy. Coincidentally, President Lyndon B. Johnson came down to the state to assist with its repair after the calamity. Johnson went to quite a few cities and traveled all around the state.
He had some gumbo during his stay and became quite fond of it. He was so enamored by this dish that he even spoke about it in his speech.
At that time, Johnson stated: “Upon the banks of the mighty Mississippi, I ate some of the best soup I’ve ever eaten in my life. That soup was gumbo, a combination of the finest food products of land and sea.”
This prompted people from all over America to pay more attention to this dish. This caused a spike in the number of people who wanted to try out this dish, likely caused by President Johnson’s claim.
Since then, the dish has gotten a lot more popular, though don’t think of the President’s speech as the main trigger for its popularity. It is also likely due to its unique and delicious taste.
The history of gumbo is one that is filled with speculation and mystery. However, one thing is certain: this dish is an interesting piece of Louisiana history and should be tried by everyone who may have the chance to enjoy it.
So, anytime you visit Louisiana, don’t miss the opportunity to try out some great gumbo, as it is truly a treat you’ll never want to overlook. Whether you are passing by New Orleans or spending a few weeks’ worth of vacation, make it more memorable with such a dish.
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