Taste the State: South Carolina's Signature Foods, Recipes, and Their Stories

Taste the State: South Carolina's Signature Foods, Recipes, and Their Stories

Taste the State: South Carolina's Signature Foods, Recipes, and Their Stories

Taste the State: South Carolina's Signature Foods, Recipes, and Their Stories

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Overview

Bitter Southerner 2022 Summer Reading pick • Garden & Gun Best Southern Cookbooks pick • Forbes Best New Cookbooks For Travelers pick • 2021 Gourmand International Cookbook Award Finalist • A vivid cultural history of South Carolina's most distinctive ingredients and signature dishes

From the influence of 1920 fashion on asparagus growers to an heirloom watermelon lost and found, Taste the State abounds with surprising stories from South Carolina's singularly rich food tradition. Here, Kevin Mitchell and David S. Shields present engaging profiles of eighty-two of the state's most distinctive ingredients, such as Carolina Gold rice, Sea Island White Flint corn, and the cone-shaped Charleston Wakefield cabbage, and signature dishes, such as shrimp and grits, chicken bog, okra soup, Frogmore stew, and crab rice. These portraits, illustrated with original photographs and historical drawings, provide origin stories and tales of kitchen creativity and agricultural innovation; historical "receipts" and modern recipes, including Chef Mitchell's distillation of traditions in Hoppin' John fritters, okra and crab stew, and more.

Because Carolina cookery combines ingredients and cooking techniques of three greatly divergent cultural traditions, there is more than a little novelty and variety in the food. In Taste the State Mitchell and Shields celebrate the contributions of Native Americans (hominy grits, squashes, and beans), the Gullah Geechee (field peas, okra, guinea squash, rice, and sorghum), and European settlers (garden vegetables, grains, pigs, and cattle) in the mixture of ingredients and techniques that would become Carolina cooking. They also explore the specialties of every region—the famous rice and seafood dishes of the lowcountry; the Pee Dee's catfish and pinebark stews; the smothered cabbage, pumpkin chips, and mustard-based barbecue of the Dutch Fork and Orangeburg; the red chicken stew of the midlands; and the chestnuts, chinquapins, and corn bread recipes of mountain upstate.

Taste the State presents the cultural histories of native ingredients and showcases the evolution of the dishes and the variety of preparations that have emerged. Here you will find true Carolina cooking in all of its cultural depth, historical vividness, and sumptuous splendor—from the plain home cooking of sweet potato pone to Lady Baltimore cake worthy of a Charleston society banquet.


Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781643361963
Publisher: University of South Carolina Press
Publication date: 10/12/2021
Pages: 248
Sales rank: 1,078,251
Product dimensions: 7.10(w) x 9.50(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Kevin Mitchell is the first African American chef instructor at the Culinary Institute of Charleston in South Carolina. He has culinary arts degrees in occupational studies and management from the Culinary Institute of America and a master's degree in southern studies from the University of Mississippi, where he studied Southern foodways, the preservation of Southern ingredients, and the history of African Americans in the culinary arts. In 2020 Mitchell was named a South Carolina Chef Ambassador.

What People are Saying About This

John T. Edge

A smart and insightful romp through the South Carolina larder, from knuckle hull peas to red horse bread, from liver pudding to shrimp pilau. Taste the State reminds me that our foodways derive power and meaning from the stories we tell about our place and our people.

Michael Twitty

Taste the State is a love letter to my ancestral state's disproportionate contribution to our national and global culinary genius. With the dual forces of a passionate chef-scholar and a rigorous and ebullient culinary historian and master of letters, the Palmetto State has found the perfect team to render a splendid volume dedicated to its cuisine.

Anna Mulé

Taste the State is a delightful mix of recipes, historical stories, and an exploration into the cultural meaning of food. It is a window into the cuisine of South Carolina that resists any whitewashing and leans into the complex mix of Native, Black and European influences in the state's cuisine. It will whet your appetite to slow down, absorb the rich heritage around you, and taste the Slow Food of South Carolina!

Adrian Miller

With Taste the State, Kevin Mitchell and David Shields prove once again that they're THE dynamic duo of culinary history. Their meticulous research will satisfy anyone who hungers for a deeper understanding of South Carolina cuisine. I definitely wish this wonderful work was available when I wrote my books on soul food and barbecue. Future culinary historians will be grateful for their dedication.

Matt Lee & Ted Lee

We devoured Kevin Mitchell and David Shields's Taste the State, which reveals on every page fresh and new information about foods that have all but disappeared, such as palmetto pickle and tanya root, and also traditions still very much alive, like Frogmore stew, barbecue and boiled peanuts. Mitchell and Shields's collaboration is the most engaging—and cookable!—volume on the Palmetto State's foodways to date, and we believe it will be a model for a new form, state-by-state foodways encyclopedias. For the time being, South Carolina is the envy of the nation!"

Walter Edgar

Take an award-winning chef and add a seasoned heritage foodways scholar; blend (equal parts) centuries of South Carolina cooking and agricultural history; and voila—a historical culinary delight to be sampled and savored. This wonderful book will be at home in either the library or kitchen.

Anna Mulé

Taste the State is a delightful mix of recipes, historical stories, and an exploration into the cultural meaning of food. It is a window into the cuisine of South Carolina that resists any whitewashing and leans into the complex mix of Native, Black and European influences in the state's cuisine. It will whet your appetite to slow down, absorb the rich heritage around you, and taste the Slow Food of South Carolina!

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