We were ready to absorb all of the Blues history we could, and Clarksdale has a ton. What better place to start than The Crossroads? A big sign marks the spot of the alleged devil deal but we had our doubts. (click here to see our full story on the Mississippi Blues Trail!)
What we didn’t have any doubt about was the grub at Abe’s BBQ right there on the infamous corner. Finding killer BBQ in these parts was no surprise, but we did learn something new when we ordered up some tamales.
Turns out the traditional Mexican dish is hugely popular in The Delta and has a long history here. The origin is a bit of a mystery that dates back over a hundred years, either migrant farm workers, soldiers returning from the Mexican-American War, or the original natives introduced the idea of corn meal stuffed with meat. Since corn meal and pork are staples of The Delta diet, the idea stuck.
Known as either Mississippi or Delta Hot Tamales, they differ from the Mexican variety in the spices, amount of meat (more), and the coarseness of the corn meal (also more). They are so popular down here at that they were immortalized in the famous song “They’re Red Hot” by Robert Johnson in 1936.
And, of course there’s BBQ! REALLY good BBQ. The sauce is called “Come Back Sauce,” because once you taste it, you’re sure to come back!
Bonus Time: The markers for Sam Cooke, Ike Turner and Wade Walton! in Clarksdale Mississippi.
Hotel Alcazer where Ike Turner worked.
David & Veronica, GypsyNester.com
YOUR TURN: Are you a blues fan? Did you learn anything new? Is this a roadtrip you’d consider taking?