The table in the Bogalusa church fellowship hall last Saturday was spread with a tempting array of hors d’oeurves and snacks.  The hostess ladies of the Sunday School class had surely outdone themselves in preparing a spread that was as plentiful as it was varied.

The most unique fare on display was the sushi-looking pinwheels shown in the picture here.

Sushi?  No, better!

Sushi? No, better!

At first sight, I was certain that it was sushi.  Had the stuff actually been sushi, I never would have tasted, because I’m at odds with sushi.  If acquiring a taste for sushi is the requirement for liking the stuff, I’ve given it fair opportunity, for I’ve gone along with the kids to sushi joints several times in recent years.  Rather than aiding the acquisition of a taste for sushi, though, those experiences have confirmed and hardened my distaste.

But when I remarked to someone Saturday afternoon about the resemblance of the pinwheels to sushi, she informed me that it was not sushi at all, and that it was quite good.  So I tried a slice and loved it. I refilled my saucer 3 or 4 times the rest of the afternoon, gobbling the bite-sized treats one after the other, almost like popcorn.

The deceptive sushi-looking ingredients turned out to be pickled okra in the center wrapped in a middle layer of cream cheese wrapped in an outer layer of ham.

Aha!  Deep South sushi!  Better yet, Bogalusa sushi.  Anyone famiiliar with south Louisiana culture knows that true sushi aficionados would never make the folksy burg of Bogalusa a destination for gourmet sushi tasting.  But for sushi-haters like me, Bogalusa would be one of the most normal and trusted places to seek out a down-home variation featuring Deep South staples like okra and ham.

Way to go, Sunday School ladies from the hardwood-covered hills of Washington Parish, way down yonder in southeast Louisiana, where they may not know sushi, but they do know good taste!

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