A delicious vegetarian black eyed pea dip from the banks of the Mississippi.
By Jerri Green
When I was a teenager I had my first taste of real caviar. My mother and I were staying at a beautiful bed and breakfast that was in a historic home in Natchez, Mississippi. The stay came complete with an afternoon wine and cheese hour. I was allowed to indulge in a small flute of champagne and all the cheese and crackers I could stuff into my mouth. Sitting on a peach satin couch amongst beautiful antiques and strangers, I decided to be adventurous and grown up, sophisticated even. I was going to eat caviar. After the first bite, I almost vomited in my mouth. To my surprise caviar tasted like fish eggs. All I could do to swallow the speckle covered cracker and then chug my champagne to rinse out my mouth. Never again I vowed!
And, then upon the birth of my son caviar came calling again. My oldest friend – who also happens to live in Mississippi – saved me by bringing me tons of food. Soup, sandwiches, chips, and something called “Mississippi Caviar.” As you might imagine, my inner teen immediately had a visceral reaction to the idea. However, I was starving. Taking care of a kid was just days old to me and I needed calories to keep up with the little milk sucker. And since I hadn’t learned how to get dressed and deal with everything, much less cook, I was delighted to see anything – even something called caviar. As it turns out this version had no fish eggs at all. Just a wonderful protein packed mix of black eyed peas and peppers. Ever since then I have sworn I would figure out how to make my own version of the Mississippi caviar recipe.
Originally Published: March 3, 2012