Famous Southern Foods of Charleston, SC – Gumbo

The word “Gumbo” derives from the West African word for okra, suggesting that originally gumbo was cooked with okra. There are still recipes with okra, but the most common ingredients used today are file and roux. 
 
All gumbos can be divided into three categories: seafood gumbo (containing the combination of oysters, shrimps, crabs, and crawfish), poultry and sausage gumbo (with chicken or turkey in combination with pieces of smoked sausage), and quite rare Gumbo Z’Herbes (a vegetarian version of gumbo with a wide variety of vegetables and greens).  
 
Though there is a common belief that gumbo evolved from French fish soups known as bouillabaisse, in reality, gumbo is a culinary legacy of the African American slaves. Their culinary tradition was built on piecing meals with all the ingredients they had. That is how a traditional gumbo was born. Many restaurants of Charleston still serve traditional types of gumbo with its West-African character.  
 
South Carolina has been known for carrying on the culinary traditions and recipes of West-African slaves, so gumbo is on the list of the top most popular dishes of the state. There are plenty of restaurants in Charleston, where you can try gumbo prepared according to the traditional and original recipes. 

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