Great Gumbo Escape

During my post operative confinement, I keep remembering one particular gumbo I tasted at the Gulf Breeze Rotary Club gumbo cook off. It didn’t win the vote-with-most-money competition or people’s choice award, but its flavor won my soul. It had that rich, nutty taste you read about in cookbooks. So, in hopes of finding more great gumbo cooked in the great outdoors, I’m planning my escape.  Pensacola’s Seafood Festival is this weekend. I might be able to get a good cup of seafood gumbo there, if the arm is well enough to travel, and I can recruit a driver. Pensacola’s Festival, in reality, is an art show with seafood on the side. What I’d really like to find is a genuine gumbo cook off the likes of the great chili or barbecue cook offs — where teams arrive in personalized RVs towing sleek trailers mounted with stainless steel cookers. Cooks wear matching shirts and monogrammed aprons, sleep on site in their air-conditioned RVs, and take shifts cooking all night.  I’d even be happy to find a gumbo competition celebrating authenticity like the chuck wagon cook offs where the trail boss wears a duster and cowboy hat, and the cook uses mesquite for the fire and lard for the biscuits. The big question is – Where does gumbo fall in the food chain? Has gumbo has been elevated from the bayou to the Food Network or History Channel?  The answer might well be found in New Iberia, Louisiana, at the 21st Annual World Championship Gumbo Cook Off and Battle of the Roux. I’m researching the event as I write, and the theme gives me a hint of the festival’s flavor – Roux Dat!


About thegumbodiaries

On the search for the perfect gumbo!
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