National Gumbo Day - October 12

National Gumbo Day – October 12


A heavily seasoned, stew-like dish is in the spotlight on National Gumbo Day which is annually celebrated on October 12. Originating in southern Louisiana during the 18th century, Gumbo, which is traditionally served over rice, is a dish that typically consists of a strongly flavored stock, meat or shellfish, a thickener and seasoning vegetables.  The seasoning vegetables may consist of celery, bell peppers and onions which is a trio known in Cajun cuisine as the “holy trinity”. Gumbo is usually categorized by the type of thickener used:

  • The African vegetable okra
  • The Choctaw spice  filé powder (dried and ground sassafras leaves)
  • Roux (the French base made of flour and fat)

Gumbo is believed to have been first described in 1802 and was listed in various cookbooks in the latter 19th century.  It gained widespread popularity in the 1970′s when the United States Senate cafeteria added Gumbo  to the menu in honor of Louisiana Senator Allen Ellender. Gumbo is the official cuisine of the state of Louisiana. The World Championship Gumbo Cook Off is held each year in New Iberia, Louisiana.


Enjoy these “tried and true” Gumbo recipes:

Post on social media using #NationalGumboDay to encourage others to do so as well.


Our research was unable to locate the creator of National Gumbo Day, an “unofficial” national holiday.


2 Responses to “NATIONAL GUMBO DAY – October 12”

  1. Keila Dawson October 12, 2014 at 2:12 pm #

    Actually, the first reference to ”gombeau” in New Orleans was in 1764 discovered by Louisiana colonial historian Gwendolyn Midlo Hall. It’s a record of testimony written in French and archived in the records of the French Superior Council. Of course this does not mean others who lived in the territory before 1764 such as the Choctaws were not making the dish, but the above reference just predates the one you mentioned in 1802. Happy Gumbo Day!

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