We’re no strangers to catfish ’round these parts. More than 90 percent of domestic catfish is farmed just outside our back door, in Arkansas, Alabama, Louisiana and, of course, Mississippi, home to Belzoni, proclaimed in 1976 as the “farm-raised catfish capital of the world” and host of the annual World Catfish Festival.
In the last week of April, folks flock to Paris, Tennessee, and the world’s largest catfish fry — plus catfish races (which you don’t find just anywhere). The channel catfish is the official commercial fish of Tennessee and the official fish, period, of Missouri (and Nebraska, in case you’re headed that way). In 1987, President Ronald Reagan declared June 25 as National Catfish Day. The scaleless fish swims on every continent except Antarctica, and there are almost 3,000 species, from walking ones to talking ones.
Catfish at a barbecue joint? robert moye, pitmaster at Corky’s, shows off the fried Delta catfish platter the restaurant’s 5259 poplar Ave. location.