My maternal grandfather was an oil rig foreman who traveled throughout Texas and Louisiana managing oil wells.  When my mother was little, the family lived for a time around Oil City, Louisiana.  In addition to making lifelong friends, Mom developed a love for Cajun food.

When I was a kid growing up in Abilene, Texas, I remember my mom wistfully talking about how she wished she could find a place to get some good Gumbo or Crawfish Etouffee.  At the time, I couldn't even imagine eating a crawdaddy.  They were those ugly things that hung around the drainage ditch outside my grandmother's house in Silsbee, Texas.

Over the years I've grown to appreciate the uniqueness of Cajun food and the distinct flavors that you can find only in Louisiana or in the kitchens of those who have ties here.  (I'm still not crazy about crawfish, but if you invite me to a backyard boil, I won't be a party-pooper.)

Today is the day to celebrate Louisiana's most famous Cajun culinary creation.  It's National Gumbo Day.  Gumbo is African in origin.  According to NationalDayCalendar.comgumbo is a West African word for okra, which makes sense since okra is the primary ingredient in Gumbo.  The first documented mention of Gumbo was in 1802 and the recipe can be found in cookbooks dating back to the late 1800's.  In the 1970's, America was introduced to Gumbo when it was added to the United States Senate cafeteria in honor of Louisiana Senator Allen Ellender from Houma.

As anyone who has ever spent just a minute of time in our fair state knows, Gumbo is the official cuisine of Louisiana.  So to celebrate National Gumbo Day, you might want to find you a steaming hot bowl for lunch or dinner.  Which begs the question: Who makes the best bowl of Gumbo in Shreveport/Bossier?

Please respond to the poll below, and if you can't find the place you're thinking of, let us know and we'll add it to the list.

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