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American Herbs


filé powder = filé = gumbo file = gumbo filé = ground sassafras leaves = sassafras leaves = file powder = file = fil powder = fil  Pronunciation: FEE-lay or fih-LAY  Notes:  This powder is made from the same leaves that used to give root beer its distinctive flavor, back in the days before artificial flavorings. Southerners add filé to their gumbos to thicken and flavor them.  The powder gets stringy when it's heated, so add it only after you've removed the gumbo from the heat source.  Filé also doesn't reheat well, so add it only to the gumbo that you're planning to eat right away.   Substitutes:  okra (Cooking this vegetable in your gumbo is another traditional way to thicken it.) OR cornstarch (This is another thickener, but it lacks filé's distinctive root beer-like flavor.)


Copyright © 1996-2005  Lori Alden