For the band, see Filé (band).Filé powder, also called gumbo filé, is a spice made from dried and ground sassafras leaves (or derived from sassafras bark). It is used in the making of some types of gumbo, a Creole and Cajun soup/stew. It is sprinkled sparingly over gumbo as a seasoning and a thickening agent, giving it a distinctive, earthy flavor and texture. Filé can provide thickening when okra is not in season. Filé translates to "string", suggestive of the powder's thickening ability. Unlike sassafras roots, sassafras leaves do not contain a detectable amount of safrole.