NY Times explores culture of Mississippi’s comeback sauce

January 13, 2014

Business, Small Business, Tourism

JACKSON, Mississippi — Comeback sauce, a spicy, versatile remnant of a bygone South, is making something of, well, a comeback. And it is reminding Southerners of an old connection to Hellenic culture.

Comeback sauce on a Greek salad with crab and shrimp. 

Comeback sauce on a Greek salad with crab and shrimp.

Jackson was one of the many Southern towns where Greek immigrants found cafe jobs beginning in the 1920s. They learned the trade and English, eventually opening their own businesses. By midcentury, most of this city’s mainstay restaurants were owned by Greek families.

On the table was comeback dressing, usually poured on iceberg salads and saltines. Many people here say it originated at the Rotisserie restaurant in the mid-1930s, while others credit the Mayflower. Eventually, many of Jackson’s leading Greek-owned restaurants had versions. “It’s not a sauce, it’s a culture,” said Malcolm White, a former restaurateur who is now a state tourism official.

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