by Sophie McNeil Wolf
For Mississippians, farm to table seems obvious. Crops have always come in from the backyard garden or local farmer, used at the height of freshness. In our neighborhood spots, nearby produce and products matter, too. Here are a few places to enjoy homegrown products around Fondren.
Grit Girl Grits
Grit Girl’s Georgeanna Ross stumbled into the grit business in 2001 and never looked back. Grits are milled from heirloom corn in Oxford – no preservatives added – for the purest cracked corn flavor. At Saltine, the grits stand out as part of the shrimp and grits or as a side.
Crechale’s Comeback Sauce
Jackson and comeback sauce are inextricably linked. Sure, we can debate the original (our bet is on the Rotisserie), but Jacksonians can agree the version from Crechale’s Café is at the top of Jackson staples. Now bottled and sold in retail stores like McDade’s, the comeback fun spreads way past the Highway 80 landmark. Might we suggest it with Salad Days butter lettuce? You can thank us later.
Delta Blues Rice
Grown, artisan milled and packaged in small batches, Delta Blues Rice comes from a multi-generational family farm that has been operating continuously in the Mississippi Delta for over 90 years. The company offers several varieties, including white, brown and jasmine. Their line up lends to Barrelhouse’s signature Asian offerings, such as the sushi burrito.
Bean Fruit Coffee
Paul Bonds‘s award-winning coffee has been a part of the local farmers market and coffee shop scene for close to ten years. Meticulously selected from around the globe, Bean Fruit’s coffees are single origin. Bonds says, “We focus primarily on single origin coffees because want our customers to be aware of what beverage they are drinking, where it came from, and how it affects coffee farmers around the world.” Want to try several varieties? All coffee at Sneaky Beans is made with Bean Fruit Coffee. If you find one you like, pick up a bag to take home.
Just up Highway 49 in Flora, Salad Days Produce is advanced sustainable farming in action. Family owned and operated by Jamie Redmond and Leigh Bailey, Salad Days is a hydroponic farm that specializes in growing pesticide-free tomatoes and lettuce nearly 365 days a year. At Walker’s Drive-In and CAET, salads and sandwiches feature their well-known butter lettuce and spring mix.