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Hoppin' John's Lowcountry Cooking Paperback – April 8, 2000


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 348 pages
  • Publisher: Rux Martin/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; Reprint edition (April 8, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0618048456
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618048458
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.6 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,239,252 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Lowcountry cooking--the food of South Carolina's coastal plain--is a refined mix of English, French, African, and West Indian culinary traditions. John Martin Taylor's Hoppin' John's Lowcountry Cooking, a collection of more than 200 accessible recipes, is the preeminent modern source for this treasured fare. Published in 1992, the book has become a classic, not only for the good food it presents but for Taylor's evocation of a homegrown American culinary style that flourished before the Civil War and remains a living cuisine. Beginning with a fascinating introduction to Lowcountry cooking--it's not the dishes that define it, but "the nuances of combination and a respect for the past" that make it unique--Taylor then provides ingredient notes and recipes for characteristic pantry preparations such as the dried spice and herb-intensive seafood boil. Recipes include She-Crab Soup, Benne Wafers, Duck and Sausage Gumbo, and that marvelous apple-nut sweet, Huguenot Tort. Included also are chapters on rice and grit dishes (among them, of course, Hoppin' John, the rice-and-pea specialty), a section on game dishes (Fried Quail with Sausage and Oyster Cream is irresistible), formulas for relishes like Sweet Watermelon Pickles, and for confections such as pomona, a traditional mixed-fruit "sugarplum." With reprints of historical recipes for specialties like Carolina Rice Bread and cogent preparation advice throughout, the book, both lyrical and practical, is a compelling guide to an almost-lost, now happily resurgent cuisine. --Arthur Boehm

From Kirkus Reviews

As Carolina lowcountry native and Charleston cookbook-store owner Taylor indicates in his introduction, the cooking of his native region has been sophisticated since earliest settlement, blessed by an abundance of fish and game (especially birds) and a year-round growing season, and enriched by a world of cultural traditions: Recipes gathered here include ``awendaw'' hominy (grits) cornbread derived from Native Americans; a gumbo that came to South Carolina with the slave trade before Louisiana was settled; a carrot-and-orange salad with ``a North African feel'' that Taylor attributes to the Sephardic Jews in Charleston; a hasenpfeffer from the area's 18th-century German farm community; some rice breads from the 19th-century Carolina rice culture; and versions of the collard greens, squirrel burgoo, biscuits, and other dishes well known throughout the South. Many of these dishes have turned up in other recent southern cookbooks, but Taylor's historical background and stories--and his expert observations (for example, that southern biscuits should be made with soft southern flour) and his local concentration--make this of major interest for serious followers of American regional cooking. -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

John Martin Taylor is a culinary historian and food writer currently living in Chengdu, China. He is an authority on the cooking of not only his native South, but also of Italy and the Caribbean, where he has lived. He is the former food editor of the French-language magazine, Ici New York. John is considered the expert on the culinary traditions of the lowcountry, the coastal plain of South Carolina and Georgia. He received a Masters in Film from the University of Georgia, and is an accomplished photographer as well. For 13 years, he owned and operated Hoppin' John's, a culinary bookstore and cooking school in Charleston, SC. He closed the shop in 1999 to concentrate on writing and consulting. He has appeared on both local and national radio and television. He is generally credited with reviving the traditional cuisine of the lowcountry and in renewing interest in stone-ground, whole grain grits and cornmeal. He sells heirloom corn products through his commercial site, www.hoppinjohns.com and blogs at www.hoppinjohns.net.

Customer Reviews

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Good food, good stories, and good book.
AzaleaAnnie
The recipes ring true to other recipes I've cooked and read in other cookbooks, so I expect to taste things as I had, again, as a child in the South.
I. Seligman
The recipes you'd expect and an interesting historical perspective on the development of low country cuisine.
JJ Johnson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By I. Seligman on January 27, 2007
Format: Paperback
There are many "Southern" cookbooks out there, however few ring true, as many recipes are "Southern style" with added ingredients that would make folks from Mississippi, through Georgia, and up to Kentucky cringe in disbelief!

Tonight I wanted a Southern style cornbread, so I tried his recipe. WOW! The addition of bacon grease to the bottom (and also to the sides) of a cold then heated to 450 degree seasoned iron skillet, to which is added the room temperature batter mix, produces a loud sizzle, quick rise, and a delicious light brown crust, and the light cornbread (free of such adulterants as sugar, cheese, fancy flours and the like) is delicate and tasty, served hot with warm butter or even honey! Just like I had as a child! Now, no disrespect to cornbread with different additions such as sugar, jalapeno, cheeses, fancy flours, etc, that's fine and tasty, but PLEASE don't call those variations Southern Corn Bread!

He has recipes for grits (not the 5 minute kind), fish, shellfish, duck, quail, turkey, marsh hens, meats ( usual, and also oxtail stew, veal sweetbreads, blood pudding) breads, vegetables and desserts. There's even various game, coon, cooter, gator tail and squirrel, pickles, preserves and relishes. The recipes ring true to other recipes I've cooked and read in other cookbooks, so I expect to taste things as I had, again, as a child in the South.

It's odd and no loss that he doesn't have a recipe for fried chicken, heck, I learned that watching others cook theirs with light dusting of salt, pepper, flour, and perhaps a touch of cayenne and spices, then skillet fried in Crisco, till brown and crisp. His crab cakes recipe has so little filler that he warns you it'll fall apart, and it'll be so much tastier and crabbier for the better.
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13 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Paul A. McKee, Jr. on July 16, 2000
Format: Paperback
John Martin Taylor does an outstanding job of sharing the history, culture, the exact how and why of South Carolina Low Country (Costal Carolina)Cooking. This book is enjoyable, reads like a good novel and will be appreciated by both novice or experinced cooks. If you enjoy good regional cook books, this one is a gem and is well worth owning!
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful By TK on December 15, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is a cookbook alright but it is also a history of lowcountry food, agriculture, and recipes. Plus, Hoppin' John has an attitude and man is he strict: You'd better boil your shrimp with the heads on and you'd better make iced tea the right way.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you know and like Lowcountry cooking or if you just like good food and are curious about coastal Southern food, you'll like this book. John Martin Taylor writes about the beautiful South Carolina coast and coastal islands and the foods these Southerners have been catching, cultivating, and consuming for generations. Good food, good stories, and good book. Enough said......I have to go and prepare a Lowcountry meal for my family, using freshly-caught Georgia shrimp.
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By maurice on December 1, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Do you love to cook? I do and for a guy who craves good cooking instead of going out every night this book fits the bill.
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By LJordan on April 18, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This cookbook is as much a fascinating history/perspective of low country cooking as it is a cookbook. I got this book as a gift, and looked a long time to find it in hardcover. While there are no pictures, the book is as interesting as it is useful in the kitchen. Some of the recipes are not things I would ever expect my aunt to cook (blood pudding, gumbo recipe that starts with live crabs), but others are things she will love and which one would not find in other cookbooks. Grits cooked a number of ways are one of the features. I love this cookbook and will try to find another hardcover for myself!
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