When I hear the word “Lowcountry” it evokes a profusion of colorful images – the graceful architecture of Charleston and Savannah, the charm of the African influenced Gullah dialect, live oaks draped with Spanish moss and, of course, the glorious Lowcountry cooking.
The Lowcountry is loosely defined as the area along the coastal plain of South Carolina and Georgia protected by a string of barrier islands. Like all regional cooking, Lowcountry cuisine is a fusion of this particular place and the people who have lived there. Bountiful produce, access to seafood and exotic ingredients that came into the ports were incorporated into the traditions of European and English colonists. But the more adventurous African and West Indian influence gave Lowcountry cooking the flair that made it one of the most distinctive regional cuisines in the country.
Lowcountry cooks are typically passionate about their food and famous for their entertaining. They take great pride in their culinary traditions and share them in their own personal style – from formal dinners to backyard shrimp boils. Here are a few suggestions about how to entertain in Lowcountry style.
- Whether you enjoy throwing a fancy dinner party, a festive open house or a backyard cookout, embrace it and develop your own personal style.
- Use local ingredients and traditional regional or family recipes to celebrate your heritage.
- Incorporate native flowers, trees and plants into your decorations.
- Savannah and Charleston are famous for their great parties, but great hostesses know it is really all about the guests. The best hosts and hostesses welcome old and new friends, guests from several generations, and friends from all walks of life with gracious warmth and hospitality.
Although Sweet Cornbread Shrimp Cakes with Mango Salsa is not a traditional Lowcountry recipe, it is a good example of combining native and more exotic ingredients to create delectable flavor.