A taste of the Delta

The new book “Eat Drink Delta: A Hungry Traveler’s Journey Through the Soul of the South” (The University of Georgia Press, $24.95) is a  travel guide, history lesson, foodways chronicle and, most of all, a love letter from author Susan Puckett to a region that is often stereotyped.

Most people think of catfish and the blues when they consider the Mississippi Delta. But Puckett, an Atlanta food journalist, shows that kibbeh and tamales are as much a part of the area’s food as fried green tomatoes.

Thankfully for those of us from hillier areas, she clearly defines the Delta. And she makes a good case for her claim that it’s “The Most Southern Food on Earth.”

A good garnish of recipes share space with colorful descriptions of restaurants and festivals, and the people who share their good food. The book also answers a burning question I’ve had for a while: What the heck are Kool-Aid pickles?

I know people say all the time that a particular book is as much fun to read as to cook from, but that’s really the case here. The detail is excellent, and shows that a lot of work went into this book.