Mississippi food is southern American Indian by nature, which is the basic specialty of southern US, the region where Mississippi is located. A large number of catfish is produced in the catfish aquaculture ranches of the state, thus making catfish as one of the main food items of the state. Also, food items like corn, tomatoes and squash are largely popular in the state, where a traditional southern US meal normally consists of various kinds of vegetables, without any meat based dish.
Cultural Influences on Mississippi Cuisine
The American Indian tribes like Seminole, Caddo, and Choctaw had a great influence on the cooking style adopted in Mississippi, where they introduced the deep pit barbequing method of food preparation, which consists of cooking the root vegetables and meat item after burying them below the earth’s surface. Beans, pumpkin, tomatoes, peppers, raspberries and blackberries were introduced in the state by the American Indians. The method of cooking food in a slow manner with smoke was introduced by Indians among the Europeans, who brought the concept to southern US and to Mississippi.
Popular Foods of Mississippi Cuisine
- Venison- Venison was earlier considered to be the staple meat item of Mississippi and all over southern US due to massive availability of white tailed deer.
- Fried chicken- this Mississippi food item is one of the specialties of the state and is consumed in abundance. Also, it is one of the best known export items of the southern US.
- Pork-Pork based dishes are also widely consumed in the state and constitute a major part of the cuisine.
- Green beans- this is a highly admired dish which is habitually flavored with salt pork and bacon.
- Desserts- Among desserts, banana pudding, strawberry shortcake, baked apple slices, apple pie, sweet potato pie, and pumpkin pie are a few specialties of the southern US and all its states, including Mississippi.
- Country ham- it refers to meat from pig’s thigh, which is properly cured or cooked.
- Chicken fried steak- this is a hugely admired southern US and Mississippi food item, which refers to pan fried flour seasoned steak piece. Though chicken is not used in this recipe, yet the dish carries the name “chicken fried steak” because of similar cooking style like that of fried chicken, which is one of the major specialties of southern US.