Eat Drink Delta
A Hungry Traveler's Journey through the Soul of the South

Susan Puckett
Photographs by Langdon Clay

A lively guide to sampling the foodways of the Mississippi Delta from Memphis to Vicksburg


"Jackson native Susan Puckett takes Southern foodies on a gastronomic journey through the Delta. . . . Taking 18 years of experience as a food editor, Puckett whips up a great read about tried-and-true Southern favories in this guidebook of old and new Delta hot spots."
Mississippi Magazine

"This stomach-stretching tour of the Mississippi Delta by a former Atlanta Journal-Constitution food editor takes readers inside a region that boasts 'the most Southern food on earth'. . . . The volume's gritty, photojournalistic imagery is a welcome departure from the glossy, santized views we've come to expect from our guidebooks. The book profiles over 100 largely un-touristed eating establishments in mouthwatering detail. It makes for a perfect road trip companion—or transportive bedtime reading."
—Elizabeth Gunnison, Wall Street Journal

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The Mississippi Delta is a complicated and fascinating place. Part travel guide, part cookbook, and part photo essay, Eat Drink Delta by veteran food journalist Susan Puckett (with photographs by Delta resident Langdon Clay) reveals a region shaped by slavery, civil rights, amazing wealth, abject 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.

There's more to Delta dining than southern standards. 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 us 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 Tunica's Wild Game Cook-Off and offers dozens of tested recipes, including the Memphis barbecue pizza beloved by Elvis and a lemon ice-box pie inspired by Tennessee Williams.

To William Faulkner's suggestion, "To understand the world, you must first understand a place like Mississippi," Susan Puckett adds this advice: Go to the Delta with an open mind and an empty stomach. Make your way southward in a journey measured in meals, not miles.

Page count: 296 pp.
75 color photos, 1 map
Trim size: 7.25 x 9


List price: $24.95

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Susan Puckett is a native of Jackson, Mississippi, and a graduate of the University of Mississippi. She was the food editor at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution for eighteen years and has written for many national food and culture magazines. She is an author of six previous books, including A Cook’s Tour of Mississippi and The 5:30 Challenge Cookbook. Puckett lives in Atlanta.