Chicken salad mania

Published 8:00 am Saturday, February 20, 2021

When I was growing up, there was only one chicken salad I ate. It was the savory recipe that we served while my parents owned the Bellemont Shake Shop.

Filled with garlic powder and such, our chicken salad wasn’t what you may be used to getting down at Mammy’s Cupboard; but it was a favorite of mine that we still whip up from time to time.

Once I went off to college in the Mississippi Delta, I was introduced to the art of chicken salad. Cleveland is full of little lunch places and sandwich shops.

Crave Bistro was known for its many versions of the delicacy, but my favorite was the recipe of chopped pecans and peaches.

The Warehouse’s recipe was more traditional with grapes and large chunks of chicken.

So, when I finally decided to leave that college town and move back home, it was a hard break up with all of those lunch places that I had fallen in love with over the years.

The search for my lunch-time staple began not too long after I moved home. Luckily, we still owned the Shake Shop, so I would still order a sandwich on wheat toast with tomato only at least once a week.

But I needed variety, and I’ve finally found three new favorites.

One spot that I was quick to find and not fast to forget is Jerry’s Donuts in Vidalia.

If you go to a party, shower, or gathering in Natchez, there is going to be a sandwich tray from Jerry’s.

If your friends are good people, they will splurge for the option with the cold cuts, chicken salad, pimento and cheese, and BLT spread.

If you’re not careful, you could easily put away a dozen of those little suckers before you know it and not feel ashamed about it either.

Another place that I feel like is only known for their sweets is Buttercup Bakery in Janel’s Flowers. Not only do they have multiple chicken salad options, they also have “to-go” options that Mrs. Charlotte scoops up daily.

Personally, I like the loaded chicken salad. It’s filled with grapes, celery, and yummy spices. Spread it on a cracker or eat it with a fork. It’s always a good choice.

Finally, I have to mention my friend, Sharon Brown’s, yummy chicken salad at Natchez Coffee Company.

If you ask my sister, Aimee Guido, she probably orders a scoop of it with the house chips at least twice a week and keeps a container of it in her refrigerator at home just in case.

It’s the perfect blend for the purists of chicken salad and just the right amount of mayo to hold it all together.

Tell me, though. What’s your favorite chicken salad in town?

Jennie Guido is a community columnist for The Natchez Democrat. You may reach her at guido.jennie@gmail.com.