Cat­fish quest

The Commercial Appeal - Go Memphis - - GO OUT MUSIC ART STAGE -

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.

Nikki Boert­man/the Com­mer­cial Ap­peal

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.

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