I’m convinced that if you make it right gumbo never turns out exactly the same twice. That stands to reason. Good gumbo is mostly made from things that haven’t been processed into uniformity: onions, bell peppers, celery, seafood, and whatever you like to put into it.
There are probably as many different styles of gumbo as there are cooks making it. I make brown gumbo (some people make red gumbo; some make brown gumbo for some things and red for others). I think that gumbo without gumbo is absurd so I always put okra in my gumbo. I also put filé in it even if it isn’t strictly traditional to put both okra and filé in the same gumbo. I like filé.
Last night at my wife’s urging I made a pot of gumbo. Shrimp because that’s what I could afford. I didn’t think it was going to turn out too well for one reason or another but it was one of the best gumbos I’ve ever made. That’s how it is with gumbo.