If you have traveled the world, there is nothing quite like the aroma of a well-loved dish to bring you right back home. For Mississippi Delta chef Martha Hall Foose, a whiff of slow-simmering gumbo is akin to coming around the bend and catching sight of the bridge that straddles the Yazoo River near her house: Both promise that familiar comforts aren’t far off.
Meals made with ingredients grown right out the back door may hum with flavor, but they also tell the story of recipes passed down the generations and shared among neighbors. To Ms. Foose, author of the new cookbook “Screen Doors and Sweet Tea,” a good, local dish can taste even better if she knows the farmer who has grown the ingredients.
“I’m a big fan of our local farmers’ market,” says Foose. “The green beans you buy from someone you’ve known since elementary school are going to taste better than some ‘unknown’ green beans…. It really does make a difference to have that social and emotional connection to food.”
To read the full article, hear an interview with Martha Hall Foose, and see a recipe for Sunflower Squash and Silent Shade Cobbler, click here.