Viral Map Ranking Gumbo Across Louisiana Fuels Heated Debate on Social Media
It's that time of year again. As temperatures begin to drop, the great state of Louisiana finds itself in the midst of another fierce gumbo debate, thanks to a map gone viral. Facebook user Kane Racca lit up timelines with a Louisiana map breaking down, by region, who really knows how to make gumbo. The cheeky graphic had descriptions ranging from "Keep y'all tomatoes" in southeastern regions like New Orleans to a rather blunt "Don't even bother, yankee" for the north.
For those not in the loop, this tomato debate touches upon the age-old Cajun vs. Creole gumbo styles. Creole gumbo often has tomatoes and a rich medley of shellfish, while Cajun gumbo skips the tomatoes, favoring chicken instead. Both are delicious and worthy in their own right, but let's be real - everyone's got a favorite and they're all different.
Racca's prime gumbo territory, the heart of his map, covers South Louisiana's Acadiana, cheekily labeled as "Y'all Good, beb!" However, the digital uproar began when many defenders of Cajun culture felt that the "heart" missed the gumbo-rich areas of Evangeline Parish. Oops!
But, Kane's spicy take didn’t end there. Regions like Lake Charles and Cameron Parish were quickly dismissed with a simple “Nope.” The fiery rebukes came in fast, with the Devillier and Friends Cajun Music History page clapping back: “The originator of this map obviously never spent much time in Jeff Davis and Calcasieu parishes. No tomato. Clowns.”
Comments flooded in from gumbo aficionados all over the state, fiercely defending their family recipes and regional techniques. "I don't eat anybody else's gumbo especially if I see ya okra ain’t smothered down. There should not be rings of okra," one Facebook user quipped.
Some took a more humorous approach, "Tell me that you've never left your Parish without telling me that you've never left your Parish.." and there were even others in the comments who actually praised their tomato-infused gumbo recipes.
While the debate is all in good fun, it's evident that the love and pride Louisianians have for their gumbo run deep. But, let's not lose sight of the real message here: Gumbo season is upon us, and that's something we can all celebrate. So, whether you're chicken, sausage, Team Tomato or not, grab a bowl, and let's eat!
But do we do potato salad in the gumbo or on the side?
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Gallery Credit: Joni Sweet