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.