Although it is technically a fruit, okra the seed pod of the Abelmoschus esculentus is eaten as a vegetable. Sometimes called lady fingers because some okra varieties have a long slender shape. The geographic origin of okra is disputed, with some claiming an African origin of the plant, while others claim a South Asian origin. Whatever the origin, okras are mainly cultivated in tropical, subtropical, and warm temperate regions around the world. Okra is considered an essential component in Southern US states, Caribbean, and South Asian cuisines as gumbos and stews.