Simple foods: Store offers Natchez a taste of Amish life
Published 12:05 am Sunday, December 13, 2015
NATCHEZ — Food today isn’t what it used to be.
Sometimes it’s a lot more, and not necessarily in a good way — extra sugars, hydrogenated oils and unnecessary dyes abound.
But one local store is invit-ing shoppers to revisit eating with an offering from the simple life and from a people who have avoided many of the complications of a modern world that demands even food be complicated — the Amish.
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Regina Hootsell has opened an Amish food store in the Franklin Street Antique Mall at 512 Franklin St.
“My husband and I travel a lot, and everywhere we have gone that offers an Amish store, we always go in and buy the stuff we love,” Hootsell said. “Part of the reason I wanted to do this is there’s not anywhere around us where we can buy that.”
The bulk of the offerings are food-based, and are made by Amish communities in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Indiana, Hootsell said.
“They don’t use any preservatives, and everything is very fresh,” she said. “The recipes and the products themselves are Amish-made, they are just sold through a company that distributes for (the Amish).”
The Amish are a collection of somewhat insular Anabaptist communities who, through a reluctance to adopt many modern technologies, have preserved a way of life that includes their own language — Pennsylvania Dutch — and a distinct dress similar to what they would have worn in centuries past.
Because their religious con-victions demand simple living, the Amish continue to prepare and preserve food in traditional ways.
Food offerings at the Frank-lin Street store include butter, cheeses, jams and jellies, as well as — but not exhaus-tively — pickled goods, hand-made noodles, broths and meat products. The sweet goods don’t have the added sugar you would find in conventional contemporary offerings, Hootsell said.
But the store also offers salves, soaps and lotions made using traditional Amish methods, including soaps made with goat’s milk.
“Like any soap made with milk, the goat’s milk soap is a lot smoother, a lot creamier, than other soaps,” Hootsell said.
The food store also offers gift baskets.
As the store continues to operate, Hootsell will try to add other items of interest, including small farm tools and Amish wooden toys, she said.
Until then, customers can get a taste of the simple life one handmade cheese curd at a time.
For more information, call 601-304-9367.