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Mississippi products make weddings special
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Friends can shower Mississippi couples with unique gifts produced within the state's borders, and couples can return the favor with a spread of the state's speciality foods at the reception and parties surrounding the wedding.
Beth Duncan, small business development specialist with Mississippi State University Extension Service's Food and Fiber Center, said when the thought counts, Mississippi products add to the specialness of the occasion while giving a boost to the state's economy.
"Mississippi is home to some very good cooks and entrepreneurs who have developed items that will make any recipient feel special," Duncan said. "Even if it is for someone outside the state, many Mississippi specialty products are so unique that they show the recipients how much thought went into selecting their gift while bringing attention to the state."
Duncan said the added bonus is the multiplier effect for the state's economy.
"When Mississippi companies make money, the entire state's economy benefits," Duncan said. "The best news is that Mississippi products are worth it, and some are even available internationally. Gift baskets for out-of-state couples can be comprised entirely of a wide variety of Mississippi products and really show off our state's treasures."
Many of the state's food products can be served at wedding parties or given as gifts. While a catfish may be hard to wrap, catfish pate' is a favorite among partygoers. Products from Mississippi's sweet potatoes and pecans are often included in gift baskets or on food tables. Mississippi-produced cheese straws, cheesecakes, candies, sauces and other gourmet products will be enjoyed by any lucky recipient.
"The state also is home to some very well-known pottery, candle and soap companies that started out small, but have grown to have a national and international reputation for quality," Duncan said. "All of these products are excellent wedding gifts for any couple."
Duncan said Mississippians should request state products at their local gifts shops as well as exploring various Web sites on the Internet for Mississippi products. Sites offering Mississippi gift products include http://www.theeverydaygourmet.com and http://www.msgifts.com. A product or company search on the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce's Web site at http://makeminemississippi.com can lead consumers to a wide variety of options.
The Food and Fiber Center's Web site at http://ext.msstate.edu/departments/foodandfiber/ also offers the names of state companies through its link to Mississippi Specialty Foods.