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October 03, 2012


glenn france

You must, you simply must find file powder.

I'm a NOLA native who has lived in NYC for over twenty years, and only recently (well about a year ago) tried my hand at gumbo.

I came across an old New Orleans cook book and just fell for the sense of originality to the recipes. There were many gumbo versions to try, but I tried what appeared to be most 'classic'.

I sourced out all the ingredients and began the cooking one afternoon.

All was going well enough, but when everything but the file powder was in and cooking, it just didn't feel right. The smell was nice but it wasn't gumbo. The taste was nice, but again, but gumbo...more like a good, rich, chicken (and other stuff) soup.

But at the very end of the cook, you add the file powder, and bam, like magic, the color was exactly right, and the smell was so familiar.

And when it was plated, it was so perfect I couldn't believe it. Why did it take me so long to come around to making it at home? Probably fear of failing, but it really wasn't difficult at all.

That said, I'm no sure where one might find file powder in NYC. I got mine on a trip to NOLA to see family, but I've found in general anything can usually be found in NYC. Someone's got to have it.


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