Today we’re celebrating one of our favorite Southern delicacies—catfish. Grilled, baked, or fried, this freshwater fish is a favorite for summer cookouts. President Reagan first declared this food holiday on June 25, 1987, to acknowledge the significance of the catfish farming industry. He recognized that catfish were much more than just bottom-feeders, and he wanted the rest of the country to recognize them as well. The majority of catfish farms reside in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. The world’s largest catfish is rumored to be almost 300 pounds. Don’t worry, the little guys fry up nicely too.
Grab your poles and head out to the pond—or stop by your local grocery store to pick up a fresh fillet. Here are some of our favorite recipes to try at your catfish fry.