Campus News

New book looks at Mississippi delta food

Eat Drink Delta: A Hungry Traveler’s Journey through the Soul of the South
By Susan Puckett
UGA Press

Part travel guide, part cookbook and part photo essay, UGA Press’ Eat Drink Delta is a lively guide to sampling the foodways of the Mississippi Delta.

Written by veteran food journalist Susan Puckett,with photographs by Delta resident Langdon Clay, the book reveals a region shaped by slavery, civil rights, wealth, deprivation, the Civil War, a flood of biblical proportions, and-above all-an overarching urge to get down and party with a full table and an open bar.

A former food editor at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Puckett uncovers the stories ­behind ­convenience stores where dill pickles marinate in Kool-Aid and diners where tabouli appears on plates with fried chicken. She celebrates the region’s hot tamale makers who follow the time-honored techniques that inspired many a blues lyric. And she introduces readers to a new crop of Delta chefs who brine chicken in sweet tea and top stone-ground Mississippi grits with local pond-raised prawns and tomato confit. The guide also provides a taste of events such as Belzoni’s World Catfish Festival and offers dozens of tested recipes, including the Memphis barbecue pizza beloved by Elvis.