The south is known for their fried food. My first week in Ridgeland, Mississippi we went out to eat at a local southern buffet called, Mamma Hamil’s  which includes almost all of the quintessential southern dishes you could ever imagine including fried chicken, green beans (which are flavored with bacon by the way), mac n’ cheese, banana pudding etc. As I went through the buffet line putting a little bit of everything on my plate I asked a local what the fried green things in the buffet were. The woman seemed surprised and said it’s oakra. I guess I made it pretty obvious I wasn’t from around here.  I’d heard of it, but never actually seen or eaten it. It tasted great fried but then again what doesn’t?

Okra: courtesy of Prathyush Thomas via Wikipedia

I have to admit one fried food I didn’t expect to enjoy was catfish. It has a very light texture and is way milder in taste than I expected.

So on my way home from Greenville, Mississippi after passing a sign about a Catfish museum in Belzoni I decided to stop and take a look.

Here are a few things I learned about Catfish:

  • Farm-raised Catfish are mild in flavor because unlike their bottom feeding relatives these fish have been conditioned to be top dwellers through floating feed. Now instead of feeding in the murky depths and taking on a “slightly muddy” flavor, farm-raised catfish have a mild taste often described as being similar to tilapia or cod.
  • Catfish are one of the most environmentally friendly forms of protein because they require much less feed pound for pound than any other animal. See the chart below shown in Kilograms:

  • One 3 oz. filet of catfish contains 104% of the B12 you need per day, which contributes to your neurological health.

So if you’ve been holding off on trying catfish give this mild-flavored, southern delight a try. But when you do try it take the advice of the locals, if the restaurant didn’t get their catfish from a fish farm in the south, it won’t taste as good and they probably don’t know how to prepare it.

When are you going to give catfish a try? Or if you already have what did you think?

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