With his son, Oliver, who was then a teenager, Else revived an old field and started growing crops including basil, cilantro, sweet corn, squash and okra, selling the produce in Tucson.Both eat the same food, including collard greens and fried okra, cornbread, buttered beans and short ribs.At the house of the Taliban district governor, a group of Talibs sat eating okra and naan, donated by the village.State Fair of Texas fans can deep fry their own funnel cakes, corn dogs, okra, Oreos and more. .
Okra or Okro ( , ), Abelmoschus esculentus, known in many English-speaking countries as ladies' fingers or ochro, is a flowering plant in the mallow family.However, proposed parents include Abelmoschus ficulneus, A. tuberculatus and a reported "diploid" form of okra.The plant may have entered southwest Asia across the Red Sea or the Bab-el-Mandeb straight to the Arabian Peninsula, rather than north across the Sahara, or from India.One of the earliest accounts is by a Spanish Moor who visited Egypt in 1216 and described the plant under cultivation by the locals who ate the tender, young pods with meal.The plant was introduced to the Americas by ships plying the Atlantic slave trade by 1658, when its presence was recorded in Brazil.The species is a perennial, often cultivated as an annual in temperate climates, often growing to around 2 metres (6.6 ft) tall.Abelmoschus esculentus is cultivated throughout the tropical and warm temperate regions of the world for its fibrous fruits or pods containing round, white seeds.It is among the most heat- and drought-tolerant vegetable species in the world and will tolerate soils with heavy clay and intermittent moisture, but frost can damage the pods.It prefers a soil temperature of at least 20 °C (68 °F) for germination, which occurs between six days (soaked seeds) and three weeks.As a tropical plant, it also requires a lot of sunlight, and it should also be cultivated in soil that has a pH between 5.8 and 7, ideally on the acidic side.The seed pods rapidly become fibrous and woody and, to be edible as a vegetable, must be harvested when immature, usually within a week after pollination.Other diseases include powdery mildew in dry tropical regions, leaf spots, yellow mosaic and root-knot nematodes.Resistance to yellow mosaic virus in A. esculentus was transferred through a cross with Abelmoschus manihot and resulted in a new variety called Parbhani kranti.The products of the plant are mucilaginous, resulting in the characteristic "goo" or slime when the seed pods are cooked; the mucilage contains soluble fiber.Cutting and cooking okra in moisture will create a sticky juice that increases the thickness of soups and stews.Young okra leaves may be cooked in a similar way to the greens of beets or dandelions, or in salads. Okra seeds may be roasted and ground to form a caffeine-free substitute for coffee. The mucilage produced by the okra plant can be used for the removal of turbidity from wastewater by virtue of its flocculant properties. Having composition similar to a thick polysaccharide film, okra mucilage is under development as a biodegradable food packaging, as of 2018.One study explored the effect of okra extract on gestational diabetes mellitus in rats and its probable molecular mechanism. Another study found that okra increases fiber intake, promotes better glycemic control, and improves insulin sensitivity. Foods such as okra that are high in fiber and antioxidants lower cholesterol levels, according to The American Heart Association. .
The use of insecticides has been the major control strategy for cowpea and okra pests, especially in the tropics.Since crop yield of okra is closely related to plant biomass29, solarization treatments would increase okra yield if the plants had been maintained through harvest.The okra planting was thinned at the three-leaf stage to six plants per pot.More leaf damage was observed on the okra sole crop than in the intercrop.The okra plants were harvested 6 weeks after planting, at early flowering.A direct promotional effect of pruning on pod yields provides a possible strategy for growing okra for both leaf and pod harvests. .
The Etymology of Gumbo, Okra, and Oysters
There's gumbo thickened with French roux, gumbo thickened with file powder, and gumbo thickened with okra, and it's one of these thickeners that gives the dish its name.The one other bright spot in New Orleans food words is the shellfish found, fried, in almost every po' boy in town: the oyster.The name comes fairly directly from the Ancient Greek ostreon, which, along with ostrakon ("pottery piece") and osteon ("bone"), comes from an even more ancient root meaning just "bone.".The word came into English with the meaningless -er ending from the French, meaning that no one has ever oysted a day in their lives, unfortunately.Gumbo: A Stew with One Name, Infinite Varieties. .
When Okra Means Hope
Black trans people are a vital part of the LGBTQ+ community, but their existence has historically been marginalized by many members of the gay community and white trans community, as well by society at large.There is nothing that heals the soul more than a home-cooked meal made with ingredients you are familiar with, and prepared by the hands of people who look like you.Conceived by queer, trans, non-binary activist, Ianne Fields Stewart, this initiative provides access to healthy food for Black trans people who are facing food insecurity.The project has been very successful, reaching over 200 people with home cooked meals, while thousands have also benefited from their relief initiatives which include funds for groceries and COVID-19 relief.As Stewart explains, “There’s a history of okra providing a sense of sustenance, community, and solidarity.” The okra that Africans took great pains to keep safe was a beacon of hope.This is the same ideology Stewart and The Okra Project’s team are using to help those within the Black trans community who are without the resources to meet their basic human needs.Black trans people are especially discriminated against in this country, and even in their own queer communities.Black trans people should by all rights be afforded those things and just like okra, their shared identity is the sustenance they need to survive. .
The Real Story of Gumbo, Okra, and Filé
In the case of gumbo, though, we really need to phrase it as the intersection of African, Native American, and European cultures, for that ordering more accurately captures the sequence in which the dish unfolded.It's a prime example of how West African foodways took root in the Southern colonies and, over time, gave birth to some of the region's most iconic dishes.At its most basic, what we call gumbo today is a savory stew made with a variety of meats or shellfish combined with an array of vegetables and herbs.The stew might be thickened with okra, with filé (powdered sassafras leaves), with a dark roux (a blend of oil and flour cooked slowly until well browned), or any combination of the three.Despite all this diversity, gumbo's development follows a logical progression, provided you can cut through a lot of bad assumptions and outright nonsense to get to it.Let's start with the biggest red herring of all, the oft-repeated idea that gumbo is a variation of bouillabaisse, the classic fish stew from Provence.Even back in the 19th century, almost every commentary on bouillabaisse notes that the key to the dish is the variety of fin-fish used to make it, and that simmering that fish is vital to add complexity to the broth.19th century recipes make clear that okra and tomatoes were the original base ingredients, and the first protein that consistently found its way into the pot was chicken.A New Orleans native, Elie was a columnist for the Times-Picayune for 14 years, then became a script editor for the acclaimed HBO series Treme and now for AMC's Hell on Wheels.In a 2010 article for Oxford American, he methodically blasted food writers' long-standing habit of ignoring the contributions of black cooks to Louisiana's cuisine.Instead, he argued, those writers twist and bend to invent tenuous connections to every European food culture from Spain to New England—including crediting French elites with the first gumbo.Far from being a food tradition unique to Louisiana, gumbo is instead an important part of the larger fabric of African-based foodways in the South as a whole.The first known reference to gumbo as a dish was uncovered by historian Gwendolyn Midlo Hall, who found a handwritten transcription of the interrogation of a 50-year-old slave named Comba in New Orleans in 1764.A more detailed description was published two decades later in a French journal called Observations sur La Physique, which included an article on the American plant sassafras.Some commentators have argued for filé and claim the word "gumbo" actually comes from kombo, the Choctaw term for powdered sassafras.By the time Peyroux was writing his treatise on sassafras, Africans had been present in Louisiana for some 60 years, plenty long enough for their traditional okra-based stews to have entered the larger culinary culture of the colony.Cooks found they could achieve a similar thickness using the filé powder made by the local Choctaw, and they started substituting that when okra wasn't available.In 1817, the American Star of Petersburg, Virginia, ran an article describing okra, which it noted "is common in the West Indies.".Mary Randolph included a similar recipe for "Gumbo—A West India Dish" in The Virginia House-Wife (1824): okra stewed in water and served with melted butter.An 1831 article on okra in the New England Farmer noted the plant's "known reputation in the West Indies" and that, "a very celebrated dish, called Gombo, is prepared in those countries where okra is grown, by mixing with the green pods, ripe tomatoes, and onions; all chopped fine, to which are added pepper and salt, and the whole stewed.".The 1841 edition of Webster's Dictionary defined gumbo as "A dish of food made of young capsules of ocra, with salt and pepper, stewed and served with melted butter.".In the mid 19th century, gumbo shifted from being a dish associated with the West Indies to one associated with New Orleans, perhaps thanks to the extent to which cooks and diners of all races had embraced it in Louisiana.First, fry a cut-up chicken "to a nice brown color," presumably in a cast iron skillet over the coals of a fire, then add a large plateful of okra."The gumbo thus made will be very thick," Mrs. Wright notes, and as in most recipes of the period, she specifies that it be served with "rice boiled tender, but be careful that the grains are separate.".Abby Fisher dictated her book to a committee of nine residents of San Francisco (her "lady friends and patrons") just a few years after she arrived on the West Coast.There's "Ochra Gumbo" with cut okra stewed in beef broth seasoned with just salt and pepper and served with "dry boiled rice.".I expected that Abby Fisher, whose cooking by all reasonable explanations would have drawn primarily upon her experience in Alabama and possibly South Carolina, wouldn't be one to use filé.It took several days before the realization hit me, and it's an explanation that's easy to miss in this era of frozen foods and vegetables grown in California and Peru and shipped thousands of miles in refrigerated containers.So here we are, with a West African dish having taken firm root in the American South, most deeply in Louisiana but with a significant footprint in other coastal areas, too.BJ Dennis is a personal chef and caterer in Charleston, South Carolina, and he specializes in Gullah Geechee cuisine.Dennis makes sautéed shrimp and okra in a cast iron skillet, adding onion and garlic along with a little chile and ginger and finishing it with diced tomato and herbs like parsley and thyme.Pleasant, Charlotte Jenkins serves her mother's recipe for "okra gumbo", which includes shrimp, chicken, and pork sausage.It has taken culinary historians and food writers far too long to recognize the central role that African American cooks played in creating what we know today as Southern cuisine. .
Okra definition and meaning
Example sentences from the Collins Corpus.These examples have been automatically selected and may contain sensitive content. .