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No. 48 - Filé Powder (Ground Sassafras Leaves)

Quick Overview

Ground Sassafras Leaf is the pulverized leaf of a common deciduous tree with a unique herbaceous flavor that is common in Cajun and Creole cuisines. We grind dried waxy, glossy sassafras leaves to a fine, woodsy green powder.

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Ground Leaf Sassafras is made by harvesting the young leaves and stems of the sassafras plant and grinding them. It is generally not added until after the vegetables and meats and/or seafood are finished cooking and removed from the heat source.

Additional Information

Common Uses Add to gumbo and other Cajun or Creole stews as a thickening agent, or serve alongside as a condiment. Can be used in non-gumbo poultry, meat (especially pork) and seafood preparations as an herb, but be aware that a little goes along way.
History Choctaw Indians of the American South (Florida, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana) were the first to use dried, ground sassafras leaves as a seasoning. Gumbo may have derived its name from the Choctaw word for filé (kombo). Some culinary experts in the early 20th century, including Celestine Eustis, maintained gumbo including Filé powder was an early special-occasion dish for native tribes. This is further implied by a late 18th-century Creole practice. At that time, rice was a luxury for many Creoles. They served gumbo over corn grits, a pairing common in the stews of native tribes. The use of corn and filé powder may imply the dish was derived from native cuisine.
Region(s) No
Ingredients Sassafras Leaves
Product of:
Organic No