|File Powder, File Gumbo, File Spice and Gumbo File Powder, a staple in the pantry of most Southern kitchens where it originated in the 18th century as a thickener for stews and specifically gumbos.
Dried sassafras leaves are ground to a dense powder and added at the very end of cooking when the pot has been removed from the heat. Stir and let the File Powder season and thicken the dish for about 5 minutes before serving. Overheating the File Powder will cause the dish to become stringy with a gummy and sticky consistency.
Most commonly used in gumbos, File Powder can also be used to season shrimp, scallops or other seafood and rice.
Looking for a good Gumbo recipe? Try our Chicken and Sausage Gumbo.