‘Mee-Ma’s Louisiana Gumbo Brick’ Has Us a Bit Puzzled [Video]
With colder temps rolling through Acadiana, there's the smell of roux in the air. In South Louisiana, one thing we hold dear is our gumbo, how it's cooked, and what should and shouldn't go in it.
Recently, I came across a product called "Mee-Ma's Louisiana Gumbo Brick". The idea for the product is really not bad at all if I'm being honest. From what I can tell, "Mee-Ma's Louisiana Gumbo Brick" is basically just frozen, seasoned roux formed into a "Brick".
From sharktanksuccess.com -
The gumbo base comes in a brick form packed with all the vegetables, spices and seasonings for the beginning of the perfect gumbo meal every time. You can then add shrimp, crab, chicken, or sausage to your gumbo base and make the ultimate Gumbo to your tasting.
Sure, you could easily make and freeze our own roux, but if "Mee-Ma's Louisiana Gumbo Brick" is actually good, it could come in handy when you're pressed for time and gotta have a gumbo fix.
"Each 20-oz. Brick makes 5 servings when added to 2 pounds of your fresh ingredients and 2 cups of water. Ready in 1 hour or less" according to gumbobrick.com.
Carol Estella Foster, a single mom and truck driver is the inventor and owner of "Mee-Ma's Louisiana Gumbo Brick". Foster, from Compton, Ca is a re-located Louisiana native who began selling her Gumbo Brick online in 2009.
Foster, who was homeless at the time, appeared on Shark Tank episode 421 and struck a $200,000 deal with Sharks Kevin O’Leary and Lori Greiner.
According to sharktankblog.com, Foster has racked up $5 million in lifetime sales of "Mee-Ma's Louisiana Gumbo Brick".
I love a good rags to riches story as much as I love a good gumbo, but there are a few things here that have me a bit...puzzled.
The first thing is trivial, but when I first saw it immediately made me question the authenticity of this gumbo.
The spelling of "Mee-Ma's" bothers me. I, and everyone I know, have always spelled it "Mee-Maw's".
It just immediately jumped out at me as a red flag that screams "Warning".
That being said, what puzzled and confused me the most is...the price.
That's right. No need to blink and rub your eyes, you're seeing the price you think you're seeing.
"Mee-Ma's Louisiana Gumbo Brick" will set you back $69.95!
The official product description from gumbobrick.com reads -
Authentic Creole-style roux for making chicken gumbo. Each 20-oz. Brick makes 5 servings when added to 2 pounds of your fresh ingredients and 2 cups of water. Ready in 1 hour or less. Four (4) Bricks included in each order.
OK, so you get four Gumbo Bricks for $70 which gives you a total of 20 servings. The price almost doesn't seem so strange when you look at it like that, but remember "Mee-Ma's Louisiana Gumbo Brick" doesn't include whatever meats or seafood you want in your gumbo.
Am I crazy, or does the price seem way out of line?
Now, if you haven't grown up in Louisiana, I can see how making a roux might be problematic for some folks. Admittedly, it sounds like a strange process that only wizards can successfully pull off. To someone in Oklahoma, "Mee-Ma's Louisiana Gumbo Brick" might be the best thing ever, and I guess that's OK.
Below is the episode of Shark Tank that Foster was on pitching "Mee-Ma's Louisiana Gumbo Brick".
Have you ever tried it? If so, how is it?