HOOVER’S GIFT TO MISSISSIPI CUISINE

July 18, 2010 § 5 Comments

The Mississippi Delta is the fountainhead of so much Mississippiana.  The blues, of course, and I’m talking the birth thereof, as in Robert Johnson, W.C. Handy (sorry, Memphis) and Muddy Waters (aka McKinley Morganfield) among many, many others.  Tamales even a Zapatista would revolt for.  And, of course, Hoover Sauce.

Yes, Hoover Sauce.  As in that delicious sweet-salty nectar of the Delta gods, that marvelous concoction that, when used as a marinade, apotheosizes mere grilled chicken into a dish that will rival anything you will find on the menu at Galatoire’s or Antoine’s.

Okay, I exagerrate.  But I’m serious on at least one count:  Hoover Sauce is some superbly good stuff.  A good friend who loves great cooking sent me a quart that I have managed to put to good use, and I used the last of it tonight to marinate chicken thighs.  Once again, as always, the results were scrumptious.  Man, I have got to get me some more of this stuff.  It’s sweet and dark, salty and tangy, garlicky and soy-saucy.  The result is phenomenally tasty and flavorful.  And chicken is only a start.  I have read about folks using it on catfish, wild duck, pork, shrimp, and who knows what else … portobellos?  doves?  pineapple?  taters?  vegetables?  

The wondrous mixture comes out of the hamlet of Louise, Mississippi, in Humphreys County, which is the hometown (pop. 315) of Hoover Lee, a native of China, who invented the magical elixir and peddles it out of the Lee Hong Food Company in his town. 

There is even an official Hoover Sauce web site.

I had planned to write an ode to Hoover Sauce, but Dixie Dining already did it here:  Dixie Dining’s praise for Hoover Sauce.

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