From the Southern Foodways Alliance (text by Tina Antolini):
When Robin Amer visited her Mississippi grandparents as a little girl, her most memorable experiences revolved around food. They would go to Sunday lunch at Stanton Hall, a historic plantation mansion with a carriage house that had been converted into a restaurant. “It seemed stuck in time,” Robin says. They’d eat fried chicken, tiny biscuits with strawberry jelly, tomatoes and fruit suspended in aspic. Her grandparents would go every Sunday, dressing up to meet their friends who were coming from church. But they, themselves didn’t go to church—because Robin’s family is part of Natchez’s once large and thriving Jewish community.
There have been Jews in Natchez since the 1840s, and, over the years, their culinary traditions have hybridized with the ones on display at places like Stanton Hall. In the new episode of Gravy, Robin returns to Natchez as the Jewish community is dwindling to see what’s left of those traditions, and what might be lost when they’re gone.