A few years ago, a journalist from The New York Times wrote an article declaring that "Gumbo is Dead". Hindsight is always 20/20, so we thought it might be fun to take a look back to see if his bold observations and bleak outlook on the future of gumbo in Louisiana held up.

Major effort in Louisiana to keep the French language alive
(David Grunfeld/MCT via Getty Images)

In a then recent visit to New Orleans, journalist Brett Anderson for The New York Times declared that Gumbo was "Dead".

Seems like a ridiculous thing to say doesn't it?

That's what we thought initially as well, but after reading his article, we completely understand where he was coming from and, he makes some good points.

We guess the only thing we can really fault him for is where he was eating Gumbo because clearly incredible, traditional Gumbos are alive and well here in Acadiana.

Below is the original story we wrote about Anderson's article explaining why "Gumbo is Dead".

If what Anderson was claiming is true, it seems the problem could be even worse today.

For the honor and glory of Gumbo, let's hope not.


(Original story below)

Is Gumbo Dead?

After a recent visit to restaurants throughout New Orleans, the New York Times claims that "Gumbo is Dead".

If it is, no one told us because right now throughout Acadiana, pots are full of hot, delicious Gumbo.

So, why in the world would they say something like this?

Here's why...

Acadia Parish Chamber of Commerce Facebook
Acadia Parish Chamber of Commerce Facebook


Nytimes.com journalist Brett Anderson says as he dined at various restaurants in the New Orleans area, he noticed a long standing menu favorite, Gumbo, wasn't very easy to find.

The reason being is because of the influx of chefs from other parts of the Country, catering to a population of transplants who moved to New Orleans post Hurricane Katrina.

So basically, non-Louisiana chefs cooking for people who also aren't from Louisiana.

This unfortunately makes a lot sense.

At the restaurants where he did find Gumbo on the menu, Anderson says it's Gumbo, but it's very different from what you would expect.

From nytimes.com -

"But the chefs who have stuck by the dish are using the moment to stretch its boundaries by adding ingredients that defy tradition, bringing it fresh relevance.

Many of the innovations reflect global influences on New Orleans cooking, particularly from South and Southeast Asia.

This time of year, with the cooler weather and the start of the Mardi Gras season, may be the best time to sample them — and to appreciate gumbo’s long and continuing evolution."

Slow-Cook Your Stock
Gumbo Cook-Off photo by John Falcon

Now, we know that Acadiana Gumbo and New Orleans Gumbo have always been pretty different. You'll quite often hear people in Acadiana say "Oh, you ate Gumbo in New Orleans? That ain't Gumbo".

So, Mr. Brett Anderson, we'd like to personally invite you down to Acadiana.

Although Gumbo may be dead in New Orleans, we promise you Gumbo is alive and well here and, we promise you that it will be the best Gumbo you've ever had in your life.

Anderson wrote a fantastic and interesting article about all of this, and you can check it out over at nytimes.com.

LOOK: Food history from the year you were born

From product innovations to major recalls, Stacker researched what happened in food history every year since 1921, according to news and government sources.

Gallery Credit: Joni Sweet

More From 97.3 The Dawg