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Louisiana State Cuisine

Gumbo

Gumbo

Adopted in 2004

Louisiana designated gumbo as the official state cuisine in 2004.

Louisiana's official state "cuisine" (or really food entree) is GUMBO. Gumbo bridges the two most famous Louisiana cuisines - Creole food and Cajun food. It's found in homes, Louisiana festivals, neighborhood cafes and New Orleans restaurants. Both have always had gumbos and they can include just about any of the great food ingredients of Louisiana from seafood to sausage to chicken and such and made  with a Cajun roux.

Louisiana State Cuisine: Gumbo

Gumbo

Gumbo has been a specialty in both Creole and Cajun cuisines since the eighteenth century. Gumbo is a stew made of many ingredients, including meats like shellfish, sausage, poultry or pork, vegetables, and spices. The word gumbo likely came from an African (Bantu) word for okra, which is traditionally used as a thickening agent in the stew. The dish was likely influenced by African cuisine brought to southern Louisiana by enslaved Africans.

Cajun gumbo is usually made with a Cajun roux, a dark gravy made from oil or lard and flour, and includes vegetables like celery and bell peppers. Cajun gumbo is usually darker and spicier than Creole gumbo. Creole roux is made from butter and flour, in the classic French style. Butter (and dairy in general) was difficult to come by when Cajun food was made. Creole gumbo typically includes tomatoes and seafood. Both varieties use poultry, sausage, and shellfish or a combination of meats.

The dish combines ingredients and culinary practices of several cultures, including West African, French, Spanish, German, and Choctaw. Gumbo may have been based on traditional West African or native dishes, or may be a derivation of the French dish bouillabaisse. It was first described in 1802, and was listed in various cookbooks in the latter half of the 19th century. The dish gained more widespread popularity in the 1970s, after the United States Senate cafeteria added it to the menu in honor of Louisiana Senator Allen Ellender. The popularity of Louisiana-born chefs such as Justin Wilson and Paul Prudhomme in the 1970s and 1980s spurred further interest in gumbo. The dish is the official cuisine of the state of Louisiana.

Regular Session, 2004 Louisiana House Bill No. 27

BY REPRESENTATIVE E. GUILLORY
AN ACT

To enact R.S. 49:170.12, relative to state symbols; to designate gumbo as the official state cuisine; and to provide for related matters.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of Louisiana:

Section 1. R.S. 49:170.12 is hereby enacted to read as follows:

 §170.12. State cuisine
There shall be an official state cuisine. The official state cuisine shall be gumbo. Its use on the official documents of the state and with the insignia of the state is hereby authorized.

Louisiana Law

The law designating thegumbo as the official Louisiana state cuisine is found in the Louisiana Statutes, Title 49, Section RS 49:170.12

Revised Statutes
TITLE 49 - State administration
RS 49:170.12 - State cuisine

Universal Citation: LA Rev Stat § 49:170.12

§170.12. State cuisine

There shall be an official state cuisine. The official state cuisine shall be gumbo. Its use on the official documents of the state and with the insignia of the state is hereby authorized.

Acts 2004, No. 406, §1.

 
State Foods
State Foods Symbols
List official US state foods. Includes drinks, deserts, cookies, and muffins to complete meals.
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