Mississippi’s Seafood Trail
Story by Amanda Wells | Photos by Tom Beck
In the mid 1800s, the coast was home to a bounty of seafood, but there was no way to ship the goods to other markets without the seafood spoiling. Despite that hindrance, nearby New Orleans and its tourist industry gave Mississippi fishermen livelihood. In 1870, a railroad joined New Orleans and Mobile, Alabama, bringing tourists and a method of transporting goods for Mississippi’s fishermen. The seafood industry began to boom with the opening of canneries.
By 1903, Biloxi, Mississippi was known as “The Seafood Capital of the World,” and succulent seafood rivaling that of anywhere else in the world has been landing on our plates ever since. In honor of that heritage and bounty, the Mississippi Seafood Trail came into existence. “The Mississippi Seafood Trail was extended statewide after a successful implementation of the Gulf Coast Seafood Trail’s pilot program that was funded by a BP promotional grant,” explains Mike Cashion, Executive Director of the Mississippi Hospitality and Restaurant Association. “THE MISSION OF THE TRAIL IS TO PROMOTE GULF OF MEXICO SEAFOOD AND THE WIDE VARIETY OF RESTAURANTS THAT PREPARE AND SELL IT TO THE CONSUMING PUBLIC.”
Established in 2014, Mississippi’s first seafood trail of restaurants was created by the Mississippi Hospitality and Restaurant Association. The trail showcases 52 restaurants that proudly serve wild-caught, genuine Gulf seafood from the Delta down to the Gulf Coast. By visiting mississippiseafoodtrail.com visitors can find the best spots throughout Mississippi to cure those seafood cravings.
You’ll also find fast, fun facts about some of that bounty like, “Did you know that blue crab is Latin for ‘tasty synchronized swimmer’, and that the soft shell crab is fully edible and delectable when fried?” The site recommends specific dishes to try, like po-boys and bisque and tells you exactly where to go for the freshest, most genuine Gulf seafood.