Gumbo okra and gumbo file smack of the far south. The first is made in every southern household the second only the Creoles of Louisiana know the secret.
Mrs Senator Walthall of Mississippi gives the recipe for the okra and her daughter Courtnay who spent some time in New Orleans tells how the Creole gumbo differs from the other. Mrs Walthall says:
Cut up a fine sized chicken as for fricasse, carefully picking it of bones. Fry with one-half pound of bacon finely chopped and then add four quarts of water, one quart of tomatoes, one quart small okras. Season highly with red and white pepper and salt and simmer for four hours.
Before serving put one tablespoonful boiled rice in each plate and pour soup over it.
Says Miss Courtnay
Gumbo file differs from this only in the adding of the tender roots of the young sassafras and the higher seasoning. Sometimes also Lima beans and green corn cut from the cob are added.