A Creole specialty. A thick stewlike dish that can have many ingredients including vegetables (such as okra, tomatoes and onions) and one or several meats or shellfish (such as chicken, sausage, ham, shrimp, crab or oysters). All good gumbos begin with a dark roux, which adds an unmistakable rich flavor. Okra thickens the mixture, as does file powder, which must be stirred in just before serving after the pot is off the fire. The famous gumbo z'herbes was once traditionally served on Good Friday and contains at least seven greens (for good luck) such as spinach, mustard greens, collard greens, etc. Generally, gumbos fall under two categories, those thickened with okra which comes from an African word for "okra," and those with ground sassafras leaves, known as "file." The earlier gumbos were closer to soups than to the stew often served today. You can make the soup thicker by using more roux or adding more file powder.