Hushpuppies!!!- Jenna Stern

(Photo Credits:

The crunchy, fried exterior, mixed with the soft bread-like interior is a perfect combination. One bite and you cannot stop. If it’s your first time eating it, it’s hard to tell what it is. Is it cornbread or corn muffin? But no, it’s better; it is a hushpuppy. For many people, hushpuppies are reminders of their southern roots and are a source of extreme nostalgia. That first bite into a warm hushpuppy, along with some butter, will make anyone fall in love with this delectable food. 

Hushpuppies are a unique food that is commonly found in the south. It is a deep fried ball of cornbread which is served with all sorts of condiments, like butter or even barbeque sauce. Depending on where you go, hushpuppies could be shaped like an oval or spherical; either way, they still taste the same. One of the most interesting variations of hushpuppies I’ve had was a conch hushpuppy at a restaurant in Richmond. It had conch, a type of seafood, inside of it, so it was a lot chewier than other hushpuppies I have eaten. It was not my favorite just because the texture was off, and I couldn’t enjoy the softness it normally is like. My personal favorite was a jalapeno hushpuppy at a seafood restaurant at Kiawah Island. The jalapenos add a nice tang to it, and I had never tried something like it. For me, hushpuppies scream southern food because it is a mix of two popular dishes: cornbread and fried food. It is something that when you bite into it, whether it be at a seafood or barbeque restaurant, it just makes you feel good. That is what southern cooking, and comfort food, is all about. 

Hushpuppies have a fascinating history. Like a lot of popular southern food, it is difficult to trace its origins back to one specific place. Most foods like this, like pralines, were influenced by a lot of cultures. An interesting story about the derivation of the name hushpuppy is that soldiers and fishermen would feed these to their dogs to quiet them. Hence the name hushpuppy.; Accessed 10/24/2020; Accessed 10/24/2020

Chicken and Waffles: King of Kings (Bailey Ford)

While there has been some controversy about this, I have found several sources that say that Chicken and Waffles is, in fact, a Southern dish (and it’s also my personal favorite). While some say the dish first emerged in Harlem in the 30s, and others say it was first concocted by the Pennsylvania Dutch in the 1600s, Nicole Taylor found evidence that it first came about when African slaves on Southern plantations created golden egg waffles, added blackberry preserve, and fried up some chicken to pull the dish together. Personally, I normally prefer syrup to preservatives, but that sounds pretty phenomenal for a first attempt.

Before I started researching the conflicting theories on its origins, I had always just assumed it was a Southern dish. Fried chicken is inherently Southern, and I guess I have always felt that Waffle House is part of what makes South Carolina the place it is to me. This made waffles feel intrinsically Southern to me too, especially when you consider some of the variations we have, such as pecan waffles (another favorite of mine). All my favorite breakfast/brunch dishes have always been Southern, whether it be shrimp and grits or Montreux’s (a restaurant in downtown Summerville) pork and pancakes, which is literally just pulled bork on top of a monster pancake. But, at the end of the day, chicken and waffles is king for me.

Something about the combination of the fluffiness of the waffle and the crispiness of the chicken all pulled together by the sweetness of maple syrup creates a unique experience that just feels like an example of the ingenuity of Southern cooking. It seems normal to us now, but at the time they were throwing a bird breast on top of baked flour and just seeing what happened. I, for one, am very glad they did.

I would be remiss if I ended this article if I ended this piece without mentioning my personal favorite chicken and waffles experience. Well, technically this was chicken and sweet potato pancakes, but the connection is there. This summer, I went on a trip with a couple of friends to Asheville (one of them has a mountain house near there, rich friends are a hell of a thing), and we made brunch reservations at a place I’d been to with my family called Tupelo Honey. All three of us got the same dish: the Shoo Mercy Griddle. We were delivered stacks of sweet potato pancakes, topped with the restaurant’s signature honey dusted fried chicken, apple cider bacon, pecans, powdered sugar, and fried eggs. While chicken and waffles is the king of brunch for me, the Shoo Mercy Griddle is the king of kings.

Collard Greens

Collard Greens. This leafy cabbage-like vegetable is a southern staple but is often a point of controversy around the dinner table. It seems that most people either foster a love or hate for this distinctive vegetable, with most children refusing to eat it, complaining about its horrible smell and all too healthy appearance. 

This adaptable and highly nutritious vegetable is served across the world from East Africa to Southern and Eastern Europe, and most popularly the Southern United States. In the South, collard greens are most often prepared in a large pot and are cooked down in vinegar and water with smoked and salted meats along with any desired spices. They can be spicy, sweet, or a combination of the two, but recipes vary with each person that makes them. 

For years collard greens have been eaten in the South but its origins actually lie in the Mediterranean. When the first Africans arrived in Jamestown, the Americas were introduced to this dark leafy green which would begin being eaten in homes across the South. In African cultures greens would be cooked down to a “low gravy” and then its juices were to be drunk. During times of enslavement, collard greens were among a very few vegetables that the enslaved were allowed to grow for themselves, and there began the deep-rooted tradition of cooked greens. Even after emancipation, collard greens remained an essential dish throughout the African American community and continued to be integrated into southern cuisine and culture.

So, whether you enjoy eating this controversial vegetable, or are among the people that find it utterly unappealing, it’s undeniable that collard greens were essential to the African community and have had a major impact on the South’s cuisine.  


Chicken Bog (Cody McLellan)

Chicken Bog

The South Carolina Lowcountry has a long history with the production and consumption of rice. During the 18th century, rice cultivation expanded greatly in the tidal swamps and marshes of the South Carolina coast. South Carolina was the largest exporter/producer of rice in the nation up until the Civil War. Gold Coast Africans enslaved, especially for their knowledge of rice cultivation, were brought to South Carolina. The enslaved laborers who cleared fields in the Lowcountry applied their knowledge of tidal rice cultivation produced what was known as Carolina Golden Rice. Carolina Gold is not named for its color but named for the profits made from its cultivation. The abundance of rice production radiated from its epicenter of Georgetown, SC, which was the largest single port for rice exports at the time. With rice plentiful in South Carolina, it became a staple of local food traditions that survive even to this day. 

Today, a survivor of the rice-filled history of South Carolina is Chicken Bog. This rice based dish came from the blending of European and African cultures in the Lowcountry. Chicken Bog is popular and widely known throughout Georgetown, Horry, Marion, Florence, and Dillion County, South Carolina. The dish is closely related to what is commonly known as chicken perlo. What makes Chicken Bog different than Chicken Perlo? Chicken bog must be prepared with a few basic ingredients; chicken, smoked sausage, rice (yellow and/or white,) salt, pepper, and onions. Chicken bog is easily prepared, as long as you have a basic talent for cooking rice. To start a Chicken Bog dish you first have to prepare the stock. The stock is made by slowly boiling the chicken, along with, onions and preferred seasoning. Once the chicken has fully cooked it is deboned and chopped into smaller pieces. Most often the larger pieces of onions and seasoning (like garlic cloves) are removed from the stock. Finally, the chicken pieces, sliced sausage, and rice are added to the pot, along with the prepared stock, and cooked until done.  

Chicken Bog has been around in various forms since the colonial era. Upon a visit to Middleton Place, I was surprised to see a letter from a guest at the Middleton Plantation asking them to retrieve their enslaved cook’s rice and sausage perlo recipe. Growing up in South Carolina, much of my direct family was from Marion and Dillion County, Chicken Bog was often a staple on the dinner table. The dish is so common in the area that local gatherings and sporting events often have Chicken Bog on the menu. Since living on my own, I have been perfecting my variation of Chicken Bog and honoring local traditions along the way by sharing it with friends. Here is the first recipe I used to make Chicken Bog so that you can try this authentic South Carolina staple in your home.

Chicken Bog


(Recipe courtesy of the Loris Chamber of Commerce)

6 cups of water

1 tablespoon of salt

1 onion, chopped

1 (3-pound) whole chicken (I use boneless skinless chicken thigh fillets)

1 cup of long-grain white rice (I prefer Carolina Gold Yellow Rice)

1/2-pound smoked sausage of your choice, sliced (I use Kiabasa or Carolina Pride Smoked Sausage)

2 tablespoons of Italian-style seasonings (I use Salt, Pepper, Garlic, Old Bay, and various other seasonings, as well)

2 cubes of chicken bouillon (I use chicken bouillon or chicken stock/broth)

Place water, salt, and onion in a large pot. Add chicken and bring all to a boil; cook until chicken is tender, about 1 hour. Remove chicken from pot and let cool. Remove skin and bones and chop remaining meat into bite-size pieces. Skim off fat from cooking liquid and measure 3 1/2 cups of this chicken broth into a 6-quart saucepan. Add rice, chicken pieces, sausage, herb seasoning, and bouillon to this saucepan. Cook all together for 30 minutes; let come to a boil and then reduce heat to low, keeping the pan covered the whole time. If the mixture is too watery or juicy, cook over medium-low heat, uncovered, until it reaches the desired consistency. Stir often while cooking.

By Cody McLellan

Okra (Julia Kempton)

Although its exact origins are unclear, it is likely that okra is native to Africa and South Asia, with its cultivation beginning in the 12th century BC. Through the slave trade, okra came to the United States in the 1500s, where the heat- and drought-tolerant plant thrived in the region’s climate. Okra was one of a few crops that enslaved people were allowed to take to America, so it became a tool for them to keep traditional cooking and agricultural techniques alive through generations. The crop has been grown all over the Southern United States since around 1800 and it is now a common staple of Southern cuisine.

Okra’s many varieties include Cajun Delight, Silver Queen, and Emerald. However, the most popular type of okra is Clemson Spineless, which is praised for being easy to harvest and producing flavorful seed pods. Okra plants can grow up to 6 feet tall, with broad leaves and fruit that can be around 7 inches long in some cases. In the late summer, okra’s harvest season peaks and it continues until the first frost, which kills the plant.

The seed pod and seeds of okra are slimy, giving it a texture that most people either love or hate. In terms of cuisine, it can be tossed into a gumbo, eaten raw, cooked with tomatoes, or combined with a multitude of other dishes. I definitely prefer okra to be sliced, battered, and fried in oil. Growing up on a small farm with many okra plants in our garden, I have fond memories of my dad preparing okra this way and serving it with fried chicken, mashed potatoes, or some type of greens. During the summer, we would have okra many nights in a row, so I started to become tired of it, but I still enjoy a good dish of fried okra any chance I can get it.

Carolina Gold Rice (Meleana Cabales)

Rice is a versatile food that has roots of cultural significance in various countries. Although it seems fairly straightforward, there are countless variants of rice based on grain length, starch level, color, harvest season, methods of preparation – the list is endless. Eaten primarily to accompany a main dish, ways of serving rice are associated with different places. In Thailand, sticky rice is served in coconut milk with mango slices (a favorite dessert in my family). In Spain, arroz bomba is a low-starch rice served in paella. In South America, rice and beans is a staple combination providing important nutrients. Needless to say, it’s enjoyed by people across the world.

However, the origin of rice in Colonial America can be attributed to none other than South Carolina. The grain was introduced to the New World in 1685 by means of the Columbian Exchange. West African enslaved people arriving in Charleston provided the complex agricultural technology to cultivate rice on the islands and coastal lowlands of what later became South Carolina. Carolina Gold rice, as it was known, was officially named for the rich color of the ripe crop in Autumn. Less literally, its name also references the great wealth it brought to lowcountry planters. South Carolina led the country in rice production up until the Civil War, whereafter rice was introduced to other states that could accommodate heavy machinery on their soil. South Carolina no longer grows rice as it used to, but the golden grain perseveres in the memory of longtime lowcountry families. It is remembered for its nutty taste, rich texture, and earthy aroma. Today, Carolina Gold can be ordered from Carolina Plantation Rice. 

As a self-proclaimed rice connoisseur, I could buy a bag to provide an authentic review. As a broke college student, I don’t have $20 to spare. Rice cookers are also prohibited in the dorms, which explains why I will be carrying mine to class with me during my room inspection 🙂 Please enjoy this picture of me with uncooked jasmine rice colored to resemble Carolina Gold.


Pound Cake

Pound cake has been a staple dessert in the diet of many southerners. Personally, I have not gone a holiday without seeing it offered on the dessert table. This cake has a simple recipe and ingredient list which makes it accessible to all people. It was originally created in Britain in the early 1700s and was called pound cake because it had a pound of its four ingredients: sugar, butter, flour, and eggs. This recipe was introduced to America in America’s first cookbook, American Cookery, written by Amelia Simmons in the late 1700s. The next prominent pound cake recipe that would forever connect the dessert to the south was Abby Fisher’s version in her book, What Mrs. Fisher Knows About Old Southern Cooking, from 1881. Fisher was a former slave in South Carolina who was freed after the Civil War. Her cookbook made Fisher the first published African American chef. Fisher’s pound cake recipe used egg whites and yeast to help the cake rise since mixers were not around to help people beat the large amount of butter pound cakes usually demand. 

Over the years as new ingredients and kitchen appliances are made, pound cake recipes in the south have gained some variety but it has mainly stayed the same. The typically southern pound cake is dense, baked in a loaf or bundt pan, and has a vanilla or lemon flavor. These cakes will sometimes have an iced top layer to add more flavor. In the south, it is common for each family to have their own version of a pound cake recipe. Although it may seem hard to tell the difference in a cake with such few ingredients, each family recipe has its own recipe they never stray from. Pound cake holds a lot of importance in southern culture, not just for its place as a staple dessert, but because it allows families to continue traditions made by their past generations. The south prides itself on following traditions, good or bad, and the passing down of pound cake recipes has given families a tradition of their own. Pound cake recipes allow family members to stay connected with one another, even as generations go by.

Fried Green Tomatoes

Fried green tomatoes are a unique dish that combines nutrition and flavor, and an easy way to sneak some nutrients into any fussy eater’s diet. The dish is prepared frying the tomatoes in about ¼ an inch of oil, in a cast iron skillet. Recipes vary, but some may add bacon or another salty accompaniment to bring out more flavor. A generous pinch of salt is always necessary. 

In the more northern parts of the South, fried green tomatoes is usually enjoyed at the end of the Summer, meant to celebrate the end of the tomato growing season. However, in the more southern reaches of the region, in part due to the rise of hydroponic tomato production, the dish can be enjoyed year round. 

While many associate the dish with the American South, the origins of fried green tomatoes are not exactly clear. Early recipes for fried green tomatoes can be found dating back to the 1920’s, but the dish did not rise to popularity in the South until the middle of the twentieth century. In an article posted on, writer Susan Maslowski writes that the dish isn’t as authentically Southern as many perceive it to be, and the earliest recipes found in the United States actually hail from the Midwest, with recipes found in cookbooks from the region dating before 1920. 

It is now thought that fried green tomatoes rose in popularity, in the South, as a result of Fannie Flagg’s 1987 novel and the subsequent premier of the movie, “Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe.” The novel, which is set in Alabama, set off a booming desire for the dish, around the region.

Whether fried green tomatoes are a uniquely Southern dish, or if it has origins elsewhere is up for debate. However, we can all agree that this dish is unique in its own rite, and is a perfect way to fill one’s belly at any time of the year.

Louis’ Lunch — Claire Filaski

Claire Filaski

Dr. Peeples

HONS 172-01

27 October 2020

Of all the sweeping claims to make, Louis’ Lunch makes a grand one: “the birthplace of the hamburger sandwich.” I’ll admit, I was skeptical– after 18 years of being a Connecticut native, I knew New Haven had its hidden foodie gems (just a slice from the nearby Frank Pepe’s Pizzeria will tell you that), but I couldn’t quite believe that an institution of American cuisine could stem from southwestern CT. To the world, New Haven is the home to Yale University, and therefore the city must be as prestigious as the Ivy League school it houses. To Connecticut locals, New Haven is far from our favorite destination– it lacks Westport’s waterside views at Bar Taco and instead is ridden with poverty and unsafe neighborhoods. I could delve into the drawbacks of New Haven, but my skepticism is self-evident– how could New Haven claim the original hamburger?

It was my dad that finally convinced me to go. We were in the area already (on business, not a destination trip) and he was convinced that the few articles he had read and the testimonies he had heard were enough validation. I tagged along for his own benefit, but my hesitation amplified at the sight of the joint. Louis’ Lunch barely exceeded the size of my bedroom; its limited seating was composed of wood-stained nooks hollowed from the walls, all of which featured carvings from decades of satisfied diners. The customers were piled on top of each other– most of whom, I noticed, were drunken college students. By chance, we had stumbled into Louis’ Lunch on the eve of a highly-contested football match-up: Yale versus Harvard. Students from both of the Ivy League powerhouses had found their way into Louis’ that night– and somehow, my dad and I had become a part of the crazed, hungry college scene.

After seeing the scarcity of the menu, I followed my dad’s lead– only cheeseburgers and hamburgers were served, no condiments. Onions and tomatoes could be added, but all burgers– all– were served on classic, toasted white bread. No fancy brioche rolls or seeded buns, only white bread. 


I remained skeptical until the first bite. The college drunkards stumbled over each other and would yell obnoxiously across the restaurant, but the 4th generation owners hardly batted an eye. That was part of the ambiance of Louis’ Lunch– a rough, authentic joint to compliment the simple, authetic hamburger.

But that first bite– the hype from The Travel Channel, The Food Network, and more  made sense. Something was different– the five cuts of meat, the white bread, and the simplicity of the sandwich all added to an authenticity that made Louis’ Lunch about more than just a burger. It was the setting, the dim lighting, the paper plates upon which our meal was served; Louis’ Lunch was proud of its originality, and their efforts to retain this old-fashioned identity had coined a unique dining experience in the modern day. The hamburger looked far from the sandwich that America reveres today, but its taste embodied the institution; I was struck by how such a simple meal could create such a fulfilling dining experience.

They’ll tell you that they want you to experience the meat’s “true flavor,” hence the burger’s simplicity. But much of this flavor comes from the experience, and not just the cast-iron grills from 1898. In any other institution, one might be offended by brazen college drunks— in Louis’ Lunch, it simply shows the restaurant’s ties to the school and the city. The pride, the authenticity, the deliciousness that exudes from Louis’ Lunch is what gives it its renowned name– whether they can claim the “original hamburger” or not, they can claim a sandwich and an experience that stand alone.

Jed Barg- Lobster


When you go to New England, specifically Massachusetts or Maine, and you ask anyone what the most popular New England delicatessen is, they will immediately say Lobster. But why? One may think it’s simply because lobsters are abundant in the north Atlantic ocean near the east coast of the United States, which is true. However, wartime is actually what made Lobster the fancy, sought after dish that it is known as today. Because the economy was booming during the war, it allowed wealthy people to eat tons and tons of lobster constantly. Furthermore, this was a time when canned food was very popular and lobster meat was extremely easy to can. This allowed not only wealthy people to consume lobster but also soldiers that were overseas and in the United States. This was what I call the creation of the “lobster gap.” 

When you go to a city like Boston, Massachusetts or Portland, Maine you will notice that there are very fancy lobster restaurants as well as very dive-type restaurants that also sell steamed lobster and lobster rolls. While lobster is overall an expensive treat, it varies in the “fanciness” of consumption because of the split during wartime between canned lobster and extremely fancy lobster. This also led to the creation of the lobster roll, lobster salad, etc. Lobster became so popular that it was being thrown into everything! Just kidding, but a lot of things. These new food creations involving lobster allowed a larger population to consume it which is why it was made so popular. In fact, lobster has become such a staple of New England culture that when you walk into any given New-England-themed, tourist-trap gift shop (you will most likely find these in the bigger cities), it is a guarantee that you will see lobster keychains, lobster shirts, lobster hats, lobster statues, lobster pictures, etc. This is because lobster has, in one way or another, become the face of New England. 

Personally, I have had great experiences with lobster myself. The first time I ever ate lobster was at a restaurant in Cape May, New Jersey (another hotspot for lobster) and I LOVED IT. Not only was it super tasty, but it was also an experience. When one consumes lobster (this depends on the classiness of the restaurant, however, it is the way most people consume it), they are given a plastic bib as well as a “shell cracker” to crack the hard shell that houses the delightful lobster meat. You work your way through each of the claws and then eventually eat the tail (the most meat and the best part of the lobster) all with a side of warm, melted butter to dip it in. By the end of the meal if your face, hands, bib, and possibly pants are not smelling of lobster, you didn’t eat it correctly. I will never forget that day. The first time I went to New England to eat lobster however, was truly an experience. I had a lobster roll every day for lunch and steamed lobster every day for dinner! Never once was I disappointed by the quality. This proves my overall point that lobster is the lifeblood of the food industry in New England.