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6800-pound gumbo for charity, Guinness record book

Posted: 4:59 PM, Dec 27, 2018
Updated: 2018-12-27 17:59:16-05

SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) – Talk about making a ton of gumbo – a Louisiana chef cooked up 6,800 pounds (3,084 kilograms) of the state’s signature soup for charity and a Guinness world record, Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser said Thursday.

He and Guinness representative Kaitlyn Vesper were in Shreveport, where a 1,068-gallon (4,043-liter) pot bubbled during Independence Bowl tailgating before the Duke and Temple football teams took the field Thursday, according to a news release from Nungesser’s office.

“Seeing an over 6,000-pound pot of gumbo – it doesn’t get much bigger than that,” Vesper told KTBS-TV.

It was stirred with long paddles and dished into smaller pots with ladles that looked like long-handled saucepans.

The previous gumbo record was 5,800 pounds (2,630 kgs) set in 2015 during Major League Eating’s gumbo-eating competition in Larose.

With help from the Louisiana Seafood Promotion Board, Baton Rouge Chef John Folse’s announced aim was 6,500 pounds (2,948 kgs).

The seafood alone weighed more than a ton: 983 pounds (445 kgs) of shrimp, 590 pounds (268 kgs) of catfish, 299 pounds (136 kgs) of crab, 262 pounds (119 kgs) of alligator, 111 pounds (50 kgs) of oysters and 33 (15 kgs) pounds of crawfish, according to Nungesser’s release. Rice, spices and broth made up the rest.

It filled about 11,000 bowls, sold at $5 each to raise money for the Fisher House Foundation to provide housing for families of patients in military and Veterans Administration medical centers.

“Gumbo is one of our signature dishes here in Louisiana, and we have some of the best seafood in the entire world along our coast and in our waterways,” Nungesser said in the news release. “There is no better way to feed the souls who come here than by showing off this signature dish and cooking a world record gumbo.”

Since 2004, it’s been the official state cuisine, joining a state vegetable (sweet potato), meat pie (Natchitoches meat pie), jellies (mayhaw and Louisiana sugar cane jellies), and fruit (Louisiana strawberry).