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

4.8 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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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

Review

"A treasure to delight all cooks." -- Pat Conroy, author of THE PRINCE OF TIDES

"No man deserves more credit for Charleston's cooking resurgence." Gourmet

"The best regional cookbook in many years." Vogue
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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: 6.8 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,373,959 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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I first read this book on a vacation in the Beaufort area with a friend. It was on the bookshelf in our condo. What a find! My friend had given the cookbook to her son one Christmas. I couldn't believe that she hadn't mentioned it to me as she knows how much I love cookbooks and cooking. But for her, cooking involves opening a microwave frozen dinner, so I guess I get it.
Back to the same condo for a second year and there is Hoppin Johns again calling to me. So I clicked on Amazon and found it: my soul mate. I happened to get the last anniversary issue at Amazon. Score!
This book is filled with wonderful dishes cooked Low Country style. The recipies are easy to follow and use ingredients available year round. ( Except for the alligator and squirrel ) The stories and reflections about this part of my state are as wonderful as the recipes. For me, Low Country cooking and Soul Food have a common theme: local ingredients cooked with heart.
Frogmore Stew .....yum.
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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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This is as much the history of Lowcountry food as it is a recipe book. JMT explains the whys with as much clarity as he explains what and how the Lowcountry eats. Using this a cook in Indiana can taste real she crab soup without wondering if it is accurate.
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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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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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By tom on April 14, 2014
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Good cookbook with recipes I will actually use. A nice addition to my collection. Reminds me food I ate as a child when I lived on the eastern seaboard .
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