There is no food that compares with good Cajun gumbo. Every grandmother in Louisiana has her own recipe...some with okra or file'...some without. Regardless it takes a whole lot of time and talent to make a good gumbo. This mix is about as good as you're going to get out of a box. I do have a few suggestions. DO NOT use any salt when you precook your meat. Lightly salt your rice (or use none). This mix is very salty so adding any more is too much. Also, this mix makes a LOT of gumbo. We plan to divide our next box in half and we will still have plenty for at least 2 meals. You may want to even use a can of broth to keep it from being so thick. No need to add onions, garlic or celery...all the flavors are there. You may chose to doctor it up the second time you make it but just try it as is the first (minus any extra salt). Now if I could just find the mix in the grocery, that would be great. Found it in Dallas Walmart (we bought 8 boxes for friends and family) but not here at home. Hubby says he won't make gumbo from scratch again after finding this stuff.