As much as we talk about the food traditions of the Mid-South, the food traditions of coastal areas of the South are equally as rich and interesting. As with most locations, the food traditions usually come from the heritage of the people and the resources available in the area. The coastal heritage is different to other parts of the South as the French and English settlers (in addition to many others) influenced the cooking style. Crops and the availability of fresh seafood created a cuisine unique to that part of the county.
Crab, shrimp and fish sustained all types of people – the rich and the poor. I remember driving through South Carolina many years ago and seeing a small refrigerated truck with shrimp for sale. This was so surprising because shrimp was a rare delicacy to me at that time. In time I realized the shrimp were right there for the taking, just as catfish are abundant in the inland South.
We are blessed to have easy access to seafood so we can enjoy it much more often. Summer is the perfect time to use seafood in our cooking. This recipe for Caribbean Cornbread Crab Cakes is a delicious example. A National Cornbread Cook-Off winning recipe, these crab cakes are held together by cooked, crumbled cornbread. The mango salsa topping combined with pineapple and seasoned with the fresh flavors of lime, ginger and cilantro give it the perfect summer touch.
What’s your favorite summer seafood dish?