Cajun Chef® Gumbo File When the Creole ladies of New Orleans complained that they had little if nothing to thicken their fine soups and stews with, one dedicated chef sought out the counsel of local Choctaw Indians. They frequently used a powdered form of sassafras to add body to their dishes, and she advised the ladies to do the same.
The name ""file"" (fee-lay) comes from an anglicized version of the French word ""filer,"" to spin thread, which is what file's thickening action resembles. Essential Pantry's file is 100% powdered sassafras leaves. It is added to soups and stews, most notably the Creole specialty, gumbo, at the very end of cooking just before serving. It adds rich texture and a woodsy, balsam-like flavor that cannot be reproduced with other seasonings.
Ingredients: Ground Sassafras Leaves.