I had a go at making a gumbo last week, and it went really well. The only problem was that the okra proved to be fairly difficult to source (after several supermarkets and groceries, we managed to find a tin of the stuff in a specialist food shop).
Given that the okra is used as a thickening agent, via the mucilage that sweats out when cooking, is there any other vegetable based alternative that would help keep the flavour of the gumbo, and thicken up the soup?
I'm specifically trying to avoid cornstarch or cornflour, since that would likely affect the flavour considerably. I was thinking potato, which is also starch, but that would also probably affect the flavour a fair bit. I realise that any alternative would have some effect, but would like to minimise it.