The New York Times Says ‘Gumbo Is Dead’
After a recent visit to restaurants throughout New Orleans, the New York Times claims that "Gumbo is Dead". If it is, no one told me because I've got a pot on the stove right now. So, why in the world would they say something like this? Here's why...
Nytimes.com journalist Brett Anderson says as he dined at various restaurants in the New Orleans area, he noticed a long standing menu favorite, Gumbo, wasn't very easy to find. The reason being is because of the influx of chefs from other parts of the Country, catering to a population of transplants who moved to New Orleans post Hurricane Katrina.
So basically non-Louisiana chefs cooking for people who also aren't from Louisiana. This makes sense actually.
At the restaurants where he did find Gumbo on the menu, Anderson says it's Gumbo, but it's very different from what you and I would expect.
From nytimes.com -
"But the chefs who have stuck by the dish are using the moment to stretch its boundaries by adding ingredients that defy tradition, bringing it fresh relevance. Many of the innovations reflect global influences on New Orleans cooking, particularly from South and Southeast Asia. This time of year, with the cooler weather and the start of the Mardi Gras season, may be the best time to sample them — and to appreciate gumbo’s long and continuing evolution."
Now, we know that Acadiana Gumbo and New Orleans Gumbo have always been pretty different. I've heard many people in Acadiana say "Oh, you ate Gumbo in New Orleans? That ain't Gumbo". I mean maybe I've said that a time or two possibly.
So, Mr. Brett Anderson, I'd like to personally invite you down to Acadiana. Although Gumbo may be dead in New Orleans, I promise you Gumbo is alive and well here. And, I also promise you that it will be the best Gumbo you've ever had in your life.
Anderson wrote a fantastic and interesting article about all of this, and you can check it out over at nytimes.com.