Whether it’s a delta detour down the “Tamale Trail” or a balmy outing along the Gulf Coast in search of fresh seafood that defines your dream culinary escape, look no farther than Mississippi, a Southern state known not only for its hot tamales and fried oysters but a range of other hard to resist dishes as well.
For one, Mississippi is the largest producer of catfish in the country by a long shot, which means travelers to these parts can expect to find it on menus north and south. Supplement your fish dinner with fried green tomatoes, some heavenly Mississippi mud pie and a cold glass of sweet tea and, well, you’ve got yourself a meal, Mississippi style.
Small time diners in the Mississippi Delta hawk hot tamales, a dish made of dough and meat, cheese or veggies steamed in a corn husk, just like they’ve done for decades. Other tried-and-true local favorites include boiled crawfish, hushpuppies, crispy fried chicken and plenty of sweet potatoes.
Venture south and east to the coast, however, and find that along with a change of scenery comes, not surprisingly, a shift in dining traditions. Here within casting distance of the Gulf of Mexico, menus tend more towards crab with comeback sauce (so good you’ll come back for more), shrimp, stuffed flounder, pompano, grouper, tuna, snapper and other assorted catches served up with a pile of hushpuppies. Save some room for a generous slice of pecan pie.