What is gumbo and why is it different than the gumbo served in New Orleans?

Gumbo is a flour based soup mixture, made of different main ingredients. While those ingredients vary, they all begin the same. First you make a roux. Then you choose chicken, sausage, shrimp, crab, various seafoods and on and on. Gumbo will always be served with a spoonful of rice in the bowl and a side of potato salad. Unlike New Orleans, which serves Creole gumbo containing tomatoes and okra, southwest Louisiana gumbos are Cajun and contain no tomatoes and okra only when we desire it.