The Blues Highway and Soul Food



I am heading down the Blues Highway tomorrow. It’s a road I’ve always wanted to travel.

I’m on my way to my beloved Natchez. But I also have a strange fascination with the Mississippi Delta and I’ve only seen a sliver of it. It’s a land of hard knocks, flat vistas and cotton. It is a place of historic suffering, which is why the Blues were invented there.

But after extensive research, entirely food related, it is also the place of chicken livers, collard greens, macaroni and cheese, and cornbread. Soul food. As in food good for the soul. I am already five pounds heavier. I have staked out several stops along the highway that might require a nap.

There will be a lot of flat. That is the Delta. If I’m lucky, there will be some tamales. That’s also a staple of the Delta, which is one reason I love it so much. Why are there tamales in the Delta? And a precious plenty of Lebanese food? How did the peoples of Mexico and Lebanon find their way to this desolate, remote place?

But I have my eye on the prize – the Old Country Store in Lorman, Mississippi. It has, I am told, the best fried chicken in the world as presented by Mr. Arthur Davis. I would pretty much travel ten time zones for the best fried chicken in the world.

I am leaving at 0-dark-thirty tomorrow so as to place myself in the Delta at prime lunch hour. I will keep you up to date as I wind my way down Highway 61. There may be chicken bones in the car. I’ve seen worse.


  1. Jim Sparks
    Jim SparksReply
    December 7, 2015 at 7:40 pm

    Blues is singular. So it should be “why the Blues was invented there.” But aside from that, we love your blog and this entry in particular.

  2. Catherine
    March 19, 2016 at 1:51 am

    Hope you went to Fat Mama’s Tamales in Natchez. Theirs are the best.

    • Catherine Mayhew
      Catherine MayhewReply
      March 19, 2016 at 3:54 pm

      I did and I’m now addicted to their spicy pickles.

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