From Tennessee, I am taking a trip across the Mississippi River now. The stretch of the river is very long that appears to be endless if not only for the horizon. No wonder the Native Americans, Ojibwe, had called this body of water misi-ziibi or Father of Waters. This reminds me so much of Nile in Egypt, which was once a world-famous ancient civilization in the southern Mediterranean region. The MS delta area is thick with forests and chains of mountains. As we get closer to the harbor, I imagine smelling the scent of magnolia trees and its fragrant flowers. I cannot wait to see its immaculate white flower petals on top of those dark green leaves.
The Mississippi delta is known for its jelly products. To grow up here must have been a sweet experience as you will never run out of jelly varying from candies, cakes to chocolates; jelly has been a part of the local’s lives. This is why I would name Mississippi the Milk Chocolate Raspberry Jelly state. This chocolate product is coated with thick, smooth milk chocolate and filled with raspberry jelly that will make you miss your life back home, if you are now somewhere outside of MS. The touch of local color I incorporated with this chocolate has made it even more special not only for MS but for the people throughout the country. The authentic jelly from MS is what made it unique and a must-try.
Re-visiting the Past
Coming off the barge, I was greeted with a few sign boards telling me where to go as a tourist. A couple of them suggest witnessing the live performances of the MS Band of Choctaw Indians, touring a museum or try the MS delta cake inspired by the original recipe of Kathy Starr. Among these options, I like the sound of visiting a heritage museum most. I decided to visit the American-Indian Artifact’s Museum at Columbus.
The museum showcases a great number of artifacts which were collected 40 years ago, but the age of these remains can go back as far as thousands of years. Touring around the museum taught me a lot about the state’s culture and heritage. I realized that I am also looking at a part of history that might have been the origin of my ancestors, too. The tour guide says that MS is considered the home to the largest number of indigenous tribes in the southeast region of the country, with Choctaw Indians leading the tribes in terms of population. In an attempt to show appreciation of the said tribe, the government has allowed them to secure their own territorial land near Philadelphia. And now, we are given the opportunity to witness their awesomeness through the Choctaw India Annual Fair held every July.
Mississippi is such a luring state with its mystical and diverse cultural past. What is hiding behind those profuse trees, rivers and mountains are the much more beautiful cities and locals. Just like this Milk Chocolate Raspberry Jelly, you will never know what you can get until you have tasted and eaten it.