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Sep 3, 2010 05:19 PM

Gumbo vs Jambalaya--what say you? [moved from Home Cooking]

I firmly believe that gumbo should be all about the mahogany-colored roux, the herbs , trinity, and proteins, but NO TOMATOES. Jambalaya is tomato based. Period. Lots of gumbo recipes call for tomato products. How do you lean in this debate?

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  1. Although most jambalaya recipes include tomatoes in some form, I would not call it "tomato based" any more than I would call it "celery based", but yes, gumbo should not include tomatoes. I do recall one or two places in N.O. that served gumbo with tomatoes, and it was more of a vegetable soup with not much roux rather than gumbo. But this is another matter of taste.

    I try to be open minded, but there is one line I cannot cross -- no beef in gumbo, ever. Especially with tomatoes. That's just campbell's vegetable-beef soup with okra.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Zeldog

      And who can forget that travesty that Paul Prudhomme touted for years, the "roux-less gumbo?" No such thing.

    2. I wholeheartedly agree. And I also support the ban against beef in gumbo unless the beef be in a spicy sausage of some sort.

      1. I have no cred here; grew up in the Midwest and wouldn't touch either until I was an adult. However multiple trips to NO have enlightened my palate. If you're asking me to choose, gumbo is great but jambalaya rules. I'm not hardheaded about the gumbo ingredients, but after all, with jambalaya, there's the red and there's the brown, It's all good.

        1. I agree with the ban on beef in gumbo! Gumbo is a food of love, if you spend 30 minutes making a perfect mahogany roux, you are giving a gift of love!

          1 Reply
          1. re: mothrpoet

            Only 30 minutes? You must be in a terrible rush!:)

          2. Jambalaya can be Red (Tomatoes) Brown (No Tomatoes) and White (Made by Neophytes who can't manage to cook one of the other two.

            Gumbo...Ahmmmm.. Mostly no tomatoes...Then again..."He Who Pays the Fiddler, Calls The Tune"