When it comes to great food, Mississippi is definitely not lacking. In fact, it’s safe to say the Magnolia State has popularized some of the best foods eaten around the country. From creative condiments to all sorts of seafood, here are 10 foods Mississippi definitely had a hand in making famous.
1. Blue Crab
The perfect addition to, well, just about any meal, the sweet meat of blue crabs is as common in Mississippi as bacon is in Texas. Lump crabmeat is commonly used as a topping in local dishes, such as fried green tomatoes. A true delicacy, the meat is also great on its own. Fried crab claws, claws sautéed in garlic butter, and fried soft shell crab are just a few of the ways you’ll find blue crab served throughout Mississippi.
2. Po’ boys
When it comes to iconic Mississippi dishes, the po’boy is definitely one of them. The sandwich originated in New Orleans in 1918; although, Mississippian Vincent Rosetti created the pressed po’boy, which is a regular po’boy that’s toasted in a heavy grill. Regardless of where it originated, the po’boy is just as much a part of Mississippi cuisine as fried catfish and barbecue.
Barbecue may not have been invented in Mississippi, but it sure was perfected here. Whether you’re in the state’s Northern Hills region, on the Gulf Coast, or anywhere in between, delicious barbecue is never too far away.
4. Soul Food
There’s nothing quite like good ol’ home cookin’ and nobody knows that better than Mississippians! Fried chicken, okra, cornbread, greens, and biscuits and gravy are staples in the Magnolia state. Several restaurants throughout the state have been revered for their home style cooking, including Two Sisters Kitchen in Jackson, which was featured on "Man v. Food Nation," and Lorman’s Old Country Store, which landed a spot on Yahoo’s list, "The Best Fried Chicken."
5. Gulf Shrimp
Mississippi’s coast borders the Gulf of Mexico, which means shrimp are plentiful. Brown, white, and pink species can all be found in the nearby waters. And the only thing more varied than the types of shrimp is the cooking options. Boiled, fried, sautéed, grilled, and stuffed are just a few of the ways to prepare the local favorite. Though, deep-fried on a seafood platter along with hushpuppies, fries, and tartar for dipping is the most traditional option.
6. Comeback Sauce
Comeback Sauce originated at the Mayflower Cafe in Jackson. Perfect on everything from salad to French fries, Maxim named the famous house salad dressing the "nation's number one condiment" and the Food Network featured it on "The Best Thing I Ever Ate."
7. Gulf Oysters
The oysters found on the Gulf Coast are huge, with some shell reaching nearly 10 inches in diameter! Just like shrimp, oysters are sure to be found on the menu of just about any seafood restaurant. And also like shrimp, they come prepared a variety of ways. In addition to raw, most restaurants serve them charbroiled, char grilled, Orleans, Rockefeller, and Bienville – to name a few. If you choose raw, be sure to add Club crackers and Tabasco for a truly authentic Mississippi experience.
8. Mississippi Mud Pie
This sinfully delicious pie includes chocolate filling and a crust made of crushed cookies or graham crackers. It’s named after the great state of Mississippi because, as you probably already guessed, it originated here.
9. Cheese Straws
Often served at get togethers, cheese straws are a local favorite. One of the most common places to obtain the tasty snack is the
Mississippi Cheese Straw Factory
. For decades, the Yazoo-based business has been shipping its signature straws all over the world. Over the years, the variety has grown to include everything from classic cheddar straws to dessert straws.
Since Mississippi is the largest producer of farm-raised catfish in the country
and home of the Catfish Capital of the World, it’s safe to say the fish is a pretty big deal in the state. And while Mississippians have been enjoying catfish for years, it’s becoming increasingly popular in other parts of the country – you’re welcome, America.
Mississippi is known for its amazing food and has surely made other items famous. What’s missing from this list? Tell us in the comments section!