Some Deep South foods I eat and don’t

Published 3:19 pm Monday, April 6, 2020

To start, I am allergic to fresh-water fish. But I’m not allergic to saltwater. I can eat all the shrimp I want. Usually, though, it presents, I’m told, the other way around.

My family was all catfish fanatics. But my allergy was life-threatening when I was young and so bad that my mom and dad could only cook it when I wasn’t home. I had to be in school and they had to open all the windows and clear our house of any smell by the time that I  got home.

The smell is not a factor now, and I could even cook it for my father in his later years. But though I’m nearly 80 now, my doctor says, “Don’t try it; too much of a risk.” So whenever I’d go to Rusty’s, the people there would look like they were having it just to make me jealous. But I know I can’t.

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However, and on my own, I refuse to eat anybody’s “tongue.” Mine should not be anywhere that theirs has been already. To which my father frequently mocked me by pointing out that I loved rump roast and then asking me to consider where that cut had come from. I had heard from time to time it might be necessary to kiss other people’s ___. But I wasn’t going to eat it.

I almost, but never quite stopped eating that meat. No matter what he said.

I also don’t eat deer and rabbit. I have friends named “Bugs” and “Bambi” to whom I’m very loyal. Why would you eat my friends?

And okra is just horrid! I cannot stand the slime. So I won’t eat the gumbo either. Oh well. How do you all do that?  I love the cabbage though: “strick” of lean and “strick” of fat — or  salt-pork — if you must, and cornbread with pork chops to go along!

And have you ever noticed turkeys’ necks when they’re strolling ‘round Thanksgiving — how graceful they all are. Why would you want to eat somebody’s neck? I’m not going to let some turkey go around neckless just because I’m hungry.

Just look at the strut before you pull the trigger.

I also don’t do biscuits. Of course, I do greens, frequently for breakfast, and always with cornbread that I make from scratch — but never, never biscuits.

I think it’s part of my natural aversion to anything but cornbread with any kind of greens. People who eat sliced bread with greens ought to go to hell. So, the good folk at Walnut Hills know to pack me just corn muffins, and that’s all. 

What’s left, then, are essentials: homemade lemon pie and blackberry cobbler; sweet potatoes and macaroni and cheese. I’m very partial to broccoli with lemon juice, and eggs scrambled with Worcestershire.

Then, of course, the salmon croquettes my mother made with corn flakes every Friday so I could keep the faith.

And, oh yes, I do prefer the sherbet.

Orange mostly.

But also lime.

Hello everybody.

And hope you’re doing fine.


Yolande Robbins is a community columnist for The Vicksburg Post.