My wife is making seafood gumbo, and there is no better gumbo on earth than hers. Sure, I’m biased. And yes, most husbands wholeheartedly believe their wife’s gumbo is the best. But in my case it’s true.
A few years ago I wrote a column about gumbo and received a truckload of messages from Midwestern and Mid-Atlantic people who were unfamiliar with gumbo.
I was surprised especially to receive messages from people who had never heard of gumbo. Like the guy in Akron, Ohio, who wrote:
“Gumbo? You mean the flying elephant movie?”
You have to worry about some people.
Well, I’m no gumbo authority, so I won’t even attempt to define this dish from a culinary point of view because: (a) gumbo enthusiasts are fanatical nuts, almost to the point of being confrontational and aggressive, and (b) I am married to one of these people.
Here on the Gulf Coast, gumbo varies by region, many will claim their wife’s or mother’s version is the best.
My friend Brent, for example, swears by his wife’s gumbo. But I’ve tried it,
and it left me unimpressed.
Basically according to Brent, the way his wife prepares gumbo for her large family is she gathers all the leftovers in the fridge: chicken, sausage, expired hotdogs, three-year-old lasagna, past tax records, nine-volt batteries. Then she lets this simmer all day, adds hot sauce, and serves it with a side of Pepto-Bismol.
Then you have my friend Bill, in Metairie, Louisiana. His wife’s gumbo is thicker than commercial masonry adhesive. Also this gumbo is VERY salty.
Salt, you should note, is a powerful laxative when consumed in high quantities. Look it up.
Bill’s wife’s gumbo is so salty—this is a true anecdote—that at a recent get-together, after eating the gumbo, Bill’s grandmother spent the remainder of the evening in the lavatory with the door locked.
When concerned family members knocked and asked, “You alright, Granny?”…