Food of the American South – South Carolina

On the Coast of South Carolina

 

With 187 miles of pristine coastline, South Carolina is home to exquisite wind-swept barrier islands, dotted with sentinel lighthouses.  The warm beaches of white sand and seagrasses stretch the entire length of the state, reaching far out into the Atlantic Ocean. Though firmly established among the states of the Deep South, South Carolina has a culture, geography, and cuisine all of its own.

 

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Seafood in Abundance

 

Southern hospitality shines strongly here, and many of the traditional foods revolve around family gatherings and the readily available seafood.

One of South Carolina’s most iconic dishes is shrimp and grits. For the Non-Southerners, ‘grits’ refers to any coarsely ground grain and was a staple part of the Native America diet. Today, grits are made from stone-ground corn which is boiled and combined with butter and milk. This creamy dish is a quintessential part of Southern cuisine and when paired with wild, fresh-caught shrimp from the nearby coast, it makes an entrée many chefs are proud to have on their menu. Not limited as a base for seafood, swap out the shrimps for added butter and a sprinkling of sugar and grits make a nutritious family breakfast or add in cheese and bacon for a classic savoury twist.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another favourite in South Carolina is the Low Country Boil, which originates from the southernmost regions of South Carolina known as the Low Country. A truly social affair, a Low Country Boil is held out of doors in the warm South Carolina weather and is usually part of any family gathering. A large pot of seasoned water is put on to boil and a wonderful assortment of vegetables and seafood is added. When the cooking is complete, the liquid is drained off and the remaining vegetables and shellfish are served, traditionally by turning it all out directly on a newspaper-covered table, or less traditionally, in a large platter.  Family and friends will linger for hours over this traditional fare, and variations of the Low Country Boil have been passed down through many generations of South Carolina families.

South Carolina, the land of beautiful beaches, southern sunshine, family traditions and some of the best seafood in the United States is a state worth exploring, through its cuisine at the least.

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