Browsing: Food & Dining

Explore the foodie paradise found in Mississippi. Tasty recipes, where to dine, and more.

Every good biscuit is made with love. And every Southern family has that one person with the secret touch. They can get that bowl of flour and work in their fats and make a perfectly fluffy and flaky biscuit. Whether you add jam, jelly, bacon, or sausage or top it with gravy, there is no argument that buttermilk biscuits are a staple in Southern cuisine. Since 2008, there has yet to be an argument that Natchez, Mississippi, is the Biscuit Capital of the World and home to the Queen of Biscuits. 

Have you ever wondered about Lyon, Mississippi? This charming town, nestled in Coahoma County, with a population of just 259, is a world unto itself. We are not just ‘Lyon.’

The small town is named after the French city of Lyon, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes. With Clarksdale nearby (approximately 2.5 miles away), there’s not much to do in the tiny town of Lyon. However, they have still made their mark in The Magnolia State with delicious carnival food and a giant Sponge Bob sign that can be seen for miles off Highway 61. 

Charlie’s U-Pik is part of many people’s summer traditions. The farm started in the ’90s when Mr. Charlie planted too many tomato plants and advertised in the paper for people to come pick them. There are two locations of the U-Pik farms, one in Lucedale (the original) and a second location in Wiggins. Lucedale is a 100-acre farm and serves the Leakesville, Meridian, and Mobile, Alabama area. The Wiggins farm is 50 acres and serves the Mississippi Gulf Coast, Hattiesburg, and Louisiana.

More people are discovering the wonders of truly good olive oil. Occasionally you will find a pretty good oil at the grocery (Rouses has a good one that is an unfiltered oil from Sicily), but the best way to shop for olive oil is online, where you will find countless great oils to choose from.

Tacos are always a good idea. They are a hit with kids and adults (even the picky ones). Tuesdays are routinely Taco Tuesday at my house and the whole family looks forward to it each week. A taco bar is also a great way to feed a crowd and allows for each person’s taco to be customized to their taste. Many people will flock to their favorite restaurant for Cinco de Mayo festivities this month, but a quick, nutritious, and cheap home based celebration is within your reach.

 A South Mississippi spring is the perfect time for a picnic. There are so many good spots to choose from, like the Gulf Shores National Seashore Park in Ocean Springs, or just about anywhere along our miles of white sand beaches. 

To be honest, I sometimes mourn the fact that most of today’s kids will never have the opportunity to regularly dine at a place where everyone knows their name, their favorite dishes, and their latest accomplishments (and debacles) at school and church. Sadly, they are missing out on some great memories. 

But luckily for my grandkids (and for me), there is a special family-style restaurant in the Blue Springs community called Ray Ray’s. 

For most of my life, I have not been very interested in breakfast. Who can eat so early in the morning? But the experts tell us it is the most important meal of the day, the meal that starts the fires that get us moving and keep us going all day.

The Italians have roughly three hundred different kinds of pasta (if you think that is a lot, the Chinese have about one thousand two hundred kinds of noodles), but the Italian varieties can be broken down into two basic categories: fresh and dried. Eighty percent of pasta eaten in Italy is dried, and the balance is fresh.

They say that the measure of a great chef is in the sauces he makes. Now, we are not talking about pan grave here (although a good pan gravy under the right circumstances can be pretty darn good!), but great sauces that are the foundation of French cooking, like a creamy hollandaise.  

There are a vast number of ingredients that pair well with pasta, from the simple pasta carbonara (hot pasta, raw eggs, bacon and parm), one of the most popular dishes in Italy, to the even simpler pasta, olive oil and freshly grated parm. Is it hard to think of a vegetable or meat that would not go with pasta, don’t you think?

Salmon has to be one of my favorite fish of all. Fat, succulent, and bone free if you get a filet. It requires little seasoning, just a shake of salt maybe, it or some Tony’s, and that’s it! What makes a filet of salmon really good is when its cooked properly. It can be baked or sauteed, but the real diversity is the method: it can be blackened, honey glazed, smoked, cooked in garlic butter, a Greek recipe with a dill sauce: its really almost and endless list. 

A quick look at Rockin Chicken and Waffle’s Facebook page and you know exactly what this place is all about, Chicken and waffles. The place is relatively new (its only four months old), but the people I have talked to that have eaten there just rave about it. One Facebook comment even said that they would never eat chicken anywhere else again. That says a lot!