The last gumbo I made must have been pretty bad. My husband just returned from a trip where he stopped in at his favorite Cajun grocery store in Opelousas, Louisiana. He bought me gumbo mixes – a grocery bag full. Mind you, I didn’t ask for these.
There’s Saydie’s “Dark” Old Fashioned Roux in a jar, Kary’s roux in a box, Kary’s fat free dry roux in a jar, and Tony Chachere’s instant roux in a shaker. These cooks, obviously, can be trusted since they all put their names on their products. Savoie’s even has a photo of Mrs. Eula Savoie and her personal testimonial that the recipe is her original.
I used to write advertising copy so I enjoy reading descriptions and the tiny print on products. Two of these mixes bear the ultimate stamp of approval: Certified Cajun, A Product of Louisiana. Another is “famous Creole cuisine.” And when I study the fine print, I see every single product is made in Louisiana, though not all are certified Cajun.
So, I plan to give my gumbo more credibility using my advertising skills. I’m not going to put my photo on my gumbo pot, but the next time I cook gumbo I’ll hang a picture on the frigde of my dad cooking his famous gumbo. That’s the advertising technique of transfer — it’s a subliminal technique. I might also hang my gumbo poster and wear my gumbo cook off shirt. And I think I’ll call mine fat free — and it is, right up to the point where I add the cup of Crisco.