Culinary Jackson

Does Jackson, Mississippi have a distinct culinary signature?

The short answer is no. Even the city’s–somewhat recently distinguished–signature recipe, comeback dressing, has its roots not so much in restaurants here, but in diners across the South for the simple, practical reason that it’s easily made from on-hand commercial ingredients–ketchup, mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce and pepper–easily stored, and versatile.

So as to a distinct culinary presence, well, no. What we have in Jackson is a cuisine typical of cities throughout the Mid-South: Herculean breakfasts featuring lard biscuits, grits and rice, eggs and pork, meals of meats, starches, and vegetables stewed in fats.

These are the foods you’ll find all over Jackson, in restaurants and supermarket deli buffets for breakfasts and “meat-and-three’ (more often meat-and-two) lunches, dishes adopted from the home table that speak of place and past.