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Understanding lowcountry cuisine


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So in American cookbooks I always read the term "Lowcountry cuisine" without any real definition as to what it is. As examples people cite shrimp & grits (which is served all over the gulf south and far from unique to the Georgia coast) and lowcountry boil and frogmore stew (is there a difference between these dishes? They sure seem like the same thing to me. Anyway they don't seem much different than a Louisiana seafood boil, save for the spices). I have also read about syllabub, but it's not like people really drink that on a regular basis in the 21st century. So I ask--is lowcountry cuisine a real thing that is distinguishable from general Southern cuisine (and in particular that of the gulf south)? What makes it so? What dishes do people really eat that represent this cuisine and, most importantly, where can I find them in restaurants (I live in Atlanta, but make occasional trips to Savannah)

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The "Lowcountry" refers to parts of South Carolina and Georgia and the best way to understand it is to look at the Gullah culture.

Click here to find one site.

And a list of recipes Here!

My grandfather's cook, when I was a child in the 1940s, was a Gullah woman from South Carolina and the foods she cooked certainly went far beyond shrimp and grits.

She was an exceptional baker too, and had begun learning to cook when she was eight.

There have been a couple of PBS shows about Gullah culture and Lowcountry cooking and how it differs from other regional cuisines in the south, including the gulf states.

Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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  • 1 year later...

By definitiion I've live in the "low country" but don't consider our normal cuisine to be low country cooking. To me, when I lived in Charleston or Brunswick Georgia that was low country cooking. I found myself eating a heavier seafood diet which IMO differentiates it from other cooking. I think its the convergence of all the land creatures with the sea creatures that makes it what it low country. Like you point out, stuff like this is eaten elsewhere but not in the high proportions as it is in that area. Its can be every day fare to have a smoked mullet sandwich or she crab soup in the winter months along with quail. And to me, the only difference in the cajun cooking is they like pepper better than we might. JMO

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