CULINARY THRILL SEEKING — Taste of Gumbo a Port Arthur Tradition

Published 12:05 am Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Port Arthur Rotary’s Taste of Gumbo is one of those events that people look forward to for the food and the company. Hugs, smiles and an abundance of little white cups full of rice and gumbo made Saturday’s event another hit at the Bob Bowers Civic Center.

I hope there were any celery and onions left in Mid County, because these groups had cooked pots and pots to serve fans. I had the pleasure of being one of five judges who put their heart and soul into tasting and ranking. It’s not at all easy. Some loved a pot for the very same reason another did not care for. We all were looking for flavor, texture and what one called a certain “silky” quality. An athlete-style point system produced the following “winners,” though we agreed, all the restaurants and groups that participated in this worthy cause were winners for supporting Rotary projects:

First place: Catholic Charities Hospitality Center

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Second place: Port Arthur Professional Firefighters Association

Third place: Port Arthur International Seafarers Center

Cajun promo

All this gumbo talk makes me want to remind you that April 4 is the Cajun Heritage Festival at the Carl A. Parker Multipurpose Center in Port Arthur and you can get something good to eat over there. Live music, dancing and more will be part of Saturday, and the Southeast Texas Arts Council is planning some Sunday activities, too. Sounds like you can pass a good time there.

Approachable flavor profile

Go on and approach that gouda. Dutch cow milk goes into Frico Grab & Go Snacks and that translates into little wrapped packages of mild, creamy snacks for you-on-the-go pleasure. Frico has been made in Holland for more than 120 years and makers say their “approachable flavor profile appeals to children and adults. So, because Nederland, Texas has a history of Dutch dairy farming, I’m figuring all the Bulldogs will like it as much as I do.

The label is the contents

A guest pulled an RXBAR out when he visited and we shared a blueberry version three ways as a rich and gooey snack. I’ve seen these protein bars in the store and they’re appealing because of their simple label. Three egg whites, six almonds, four cashews, two dates, No B.S. is what this one reads in big letters. If you’re into this kind of thing, this is a good one.

Darragh Castillo loves a lot of gumbos and loves how proud each chef and family is of his or her own blend. Reach her at