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Potato Salad in Gumbo

I had this often growing up in relatives' homes in Acadiana - around St. James, St. John, Lafourche, Terrebonne Parishes. Didn't see it in New Orleans and we didn't serve it that way at home in NOLA.
The November issue of Cottage Living magazine has a good recipe for turkey and andouille gumbo with potato salad. With rice as well - saying that "gumbo without rice is a mortal sin." The only discussion is if the potato salad goes in the middle or on the side of the bowl.
Are there any restaurants in NOLA that serve it this way? Some of my friends from that area of LA still do.

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  1. This weekend, I served approx. 1200 servings of gumbo and 500 servings of potato salad at a 3-day fest in Lafourche parish. Less than 5% asked for potato salad in the bowl with the gumbo, a few asked for both potato salad AND rice in the gumbo, and more people than ever (maybe 20 over the weekend) wanted no rice at all--proof that low-carb eating habits can even penetrate the heart of the bayou. I personally don't like p.s. in my gumbo or even at the same meal, but my better half and his mother both insist on p.s. alongside their gumbo. The combination intrigues me and I'm always asking people about their preferences regarding the matter!

    3 Replies
    1. re: Hungry Celeste

      Celeste, when you refer to potato salad, do you mean the type made with mayonnaise and celery? I ate quite a bit of gumbo in LA when I visited Breaux Bridge, Lafayette, Mamou, and New Orleans, and nowhere did anyone offer it with potato salad. Does a customer have to ask for it...? I think I'd give it a try. It sounds more "comforting" with potatoes.

      1. re: Cheese Boy

        You don't often see the potato salad-gumbo combination listed together on restaurant menus, although you will often see the two listed separately and a fair number of people will order them together. It's more of a Sunday-dinner, grandma's house kinda thing. The potato salad varies from family to family, often very basic potato-egg-mayo-mustard mixture, sometimes with pickles, celery, raw onion, or other crunchy stuff.

        1. re: Hungry Celeste

          Thanks Celeste. I'll remember to order them together. It sounds delicious.

    2. I live in Lafayette and it is traditional to get a side of potato salad with your chicken and sausage gumbo. Some people then put it straight into the bowl (I do this) and others just eat in on the side. Potato salad is not naturally served with any sort of seafood gumbo from what I understand though.

      1 Reply
      1. re: katp

        It IS served with seafood gumbo all up and down bayou Lafourche & in Terrebonne Parish as well...from my "field sampling" there is little or no consistency in pairing P.S. with particular gumbos...the rules seem to operate at the level of personal taste rather than at the level of general cultural practice.

      2. I live in Lafayette and I plop my potato salad into my bowl of gumbo, be it chicken and sausage or seafood gumbo. Having potato salad doesn't preclude having rice, either. Oh, and I only do this at home. No plopping in public.

        When I'm low carbing, I eat gumbo sans rice or potato salad.

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