It’s Mardi Gras season, time for gumbo! If you question anybody from Louisiana or the Mississippi Sound about making gumbo, the first thing they will tell you is about making the roux.
My college roommate (from Metairie), my brother’s girlfriend (Biloxi), and my parent’s neighbor of 35 years (New Orleans), have pretty much all told me the same thing, “My mother used to take out an old penny and sit it next to the pot. ‘You’re done when the roux is the color of this penny.'”
Now, these women certainly did not have the same mother, but they shared the same story. I’m guessing making a proper roux must be a rite of passage for a kid from around those parts, and probably a bit challenging because it requires a little patience. 25 minutes or so of stirring can seem like forever to a 10 year old!
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