|Festivals for feasting
By Barbara Gibbs Ostmann
So pack your appetite and sense of adventure and set out to savor the South this summer and fall at food festivals in Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi.
According to the Gourmands Guide to Dining in and Around Corinth, a slugburger is a burger made of a mixture of beef and some form of cheaper breading extender, which is then deep-fat fried to a golden brown instead of grilled as a common hamburger. In the past, cornmeal was the most common extender and lard was used for frying; today, soybean meal is the extender of choice and vegetable oil is used for frying.
The origin of the slugburger name is a matter of local debate. For many years, slugburgers were sold for a nickel and a slang expression for a nickel was a slug, hence the most common explanation for the name. Another popular explanation is that if you overindulge, you might feel as though someone slugged you in the stomach.
Other featured foods include funnel cakes and fried green tomatoes.
The Slugburger Festival is the major fundraiser for the Main Street Corinth downtown revitalization program. The Alcorn County Courthouse will be the site of the carnival, local entertainment and food vendors, while the celebrity headliners will perform on the nearby main stage.
For more information, call (662) 287-1550, 1-877-347-0545 or visit www.slugburger.com online.
Shrimp and petroleum?
Its a strange name for a food eventLouisiana Shrimp and Petroleum Festivalbut dont be fooled. Its one of the Souths best festivals, and the oldest state-chartered harvest festival in Louisiana.
From Aug. 30 through Sept. 3, Morgan City celebrates shrimp and oil, its two most important natural resources. This festival includes Music in the Park, the Cajun Culinary Classic, Shrimp Cook-off, historic Blessing of the Fleet, arts and crafts show, childrens village, fireworks, parades, royal pageant and a water parade.
Teams will vie for prizes for the best shrimp dishes in the eighth annual Shrimp Cook-off competition. Live music and Cajun cooking prepared by volunteers from local nonprofit organizations will set the stage for the 13th annual Cajun Culinary Classic.
The festival began in 1936 when the port of Morgan City and Berwick received the first boatload of jumbo shrimp, fresh from the Gulf waters. The festival became a dual celebration of both shrimp and oil in 1967. The goal of the festival is to honor the seafood and petroleum industries and to emphasize how these two seemingly different industries work hand-in-hand culturally and environmentally.
For additional information, please call 1-800-256-2931 or visit the Web site www.shrimp-petrofest.org.
Whether youre shelling a succulent shrimp, twirling your fork into a steaming plate of spaghetti of putting extra pickles and onions on your slugburger, these festivals will satisfy your hunger for fun this summer. Please pass the ketchup.
Barbara Gibbs Ostmann is a contributor from Gerald, Mo.