Poor gumbo. For so long, you were respected. People who knew you knew what you are all about and never tried to change you. Classic perfection. Never change, gumbo, they said. Never change.
Then something happened. Instagram? Pinterest? A combination of the two plus a heaping helping of disrespect? Suddenly all sort of wrong things started showing up. We’re not talking about the ongoing rice-versus-potato salad debate. This is something nefarious.
Back in the fall, Disney horrified gumbo purists with its “healthier” gumbo featuring — yikes! — kale and quinoa. Following swift social media backlash, the roux-less Tiana’s Healthy Gumbo quietly disappeared from the Disney-run Facebook page from which it arose.
Everyone, it appears, has not learned the lesson from that embarrassment. Not long ago, a gumbo recipe featuring beans (what?) and something that looked like ground hamburger was making the ridicule-filled rounds on social media. It looked like chunky chili over rice.
Now there’s this atrocity. But first, a warning. Don’t let Grandmeré Clotilde see the rest of this paragraph, or she will have a fit. A Facebook page called Food Crunch posted a video showing downright chunky “gumbo.”
It starts with canola oil and flour mixed to make a “roux” that’s the color of chicken broth. Then onions, celery and — no bell pepper? Old Bay seasoning? Stewed tomatoes? Chicken thighs? Bay leaves? Pieces of okra the size of your pinky? Next thing you know, they’ll be making this in one of those instant pots. Oh, wait. They are. When served (over rice), bits of chives are sprinkled over the top.
The video says the recipe is by Time, Inc.
Comments are, as expected, honest and brutal. “STOP IT! For the love of all that’s right in the world... NO TOMATOES!! I’m beginning to fear that people, uneducated in gumbo making, will continue to make it the wrong way for so long that if they are ever privileged and blessed to eat a REAL gumbo that they’re gonna think something is wrong with the real one.”
“All my ancestors just turned over in their graves!!!! Lord help me! I am gonna pray for who ever filmed this video! Was no one there to stop them!!!”
“I have never made gumbo like that for the same reason I have never drawn a triangle with four corners.”
“They need Jesus with this tomfoolery!”
What do you think?