Tuesday, September 11, 2012


Photo: Okra, by Southern Food

Okra, a tropical plant with the Latin name hibiscus esculentis is a relative of cotton as well as of the hibiscus flower, itself used in a herb tea rich in antioxidants. In the southern US, okra is a well-known vegetable. It's natural gooiness is what gives Cajun gumbo its texture.

Sometimes the vegetable itself is called gumbo, from the Bantu word ngombo. Native to northwestern Africa, okra was brought to North America by slaves. A West African Ashanti name for this vegetable is nkruma.

Interestingly, Kwame Nkrumah was the name of the African leader who led the new nation of Ghana to independence. However, as a name, Nkrumah is considered unrelated to the plant name.

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