Gumbo Filé Powder, Sassafras Leaves

Gumbo filé powder, a crucial ingredient in authentic Creole cooking, is made from the powdered leaves of the sassafras tree. When ground, they have a rich, sweet, cooling smell, reminiscent of eucalyptus crossed with juicy fruit gum.
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Filé powder is used for both flavor and texture in traditional gumbo, thickening the broth and adding a slippery texture. It can be used either in addition to, or instead of, roux and okra. Filé powder is generally added at the end of cooking, or stirred into hot gumbo just before serving.

Long before the use of gumbo filé powder for Creole and Cajun cooking, American Indians pounded sassafras leaves into a powder and added them to soups and stews.

Recipes featuring this spice

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