Sassafras albidum sassafras
Origin: North America
Flavour: Similar to thyme, anise and citrus, vanilla.
Uses: Thickener in Louisiana creole cuisine, gumbo, seasoning, soup, stew, roux.
Dishes: Chicken–andouille filé gumbo, jambalaya, candy, tea, root beer, jelly.
*Sassafras/Sarsaparilla is banned by the FDA and banned in Canada due to its carcinogenic effects.
Compliments: Cinnamon, black pepper, mint, anise, coriander seed, allspice, basil, bay leaf, cayenne pepper, thyme.
Substitutes for Filé: Okra, arrowroot powder, cornstarch.
*Note– The familiar taste of root beer will be absent with the suggested substitutes.