Gumbo File is a seasoning made from the ground, dried leaves of the Sassafras Tree. This seasoning is an integral part of Creole cooking used to flavor and thicken gumbos and other Creole dishes. Gumbo File has a woodsy flavor reminiscent of root beer. The name Gumbo is derived from the African word meaning Okra. File Powder is said to have first been used by the Choctaw Indians from the Louisiana Bayou country. Gumbo is the Creole mainstay of New Orleans cuisine. Gumbo is a thick, stew like dish that can have any of many ingredients such as okra, tomatoes, and onions. This mixture will also contain different types of meats or shellfish such as chicken, sausage, ham, shrimp, crab or oysters. The one ingredient that all gumbos begins with is the unmistakable dark roux. Okra or Gumbo File are used to thicken the dark roux. Suggested Use: Gumbo file is used to flavor and thicken gumbos and other creole dishes. Basic Prep: Stir gumbo file in the dish right after the pot is off the fire and just before serving.