Gumbo is as essential to the lexicon of Southern cookery as clam chowder is to that of New England or scrapple is to that of the Pennsylvania Dutch country. The word derives from the Bantu word gombo, meaning okra, and first appeared in American print in the year 1803. The name was brought over, of course, by the slaves.
© 1987 Craig Claiborne estate. All rights reserved.