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The Carolina Rice Kitchen: The African Connection


 Karen Hess


1992, University of South Carolina Press


An important history of the Carolina rice kitchen and the African influence on it


Where did rice originate? How did the name Hoppin' John evolve? Why was the famous rice called Carolina Gold?


The early history of the rice kitchen in South Carolina is inextricably bound to slavery. It was the African slaves who cultivated and cooked it. Although rice had not previously been a staple of the European plantation owners, it began to appear on the table every day. Rice became revered and was eaten at virtually every meal and in dishes that were part of every course: soups, entrees, side dishes, desserts, and bread. The ancient way of cooking rice, developed in the primeval rice lands of India and Africa, became the Carolina way. Carolina Gold rice was so esteemed that its very name became a generic term in much of the world for the finest long-grain rice obtainable. The Carolina rice kitchen evolved around the use of Carolina Gold Rice.


This engaging book is packed with fascinating historical details and speculations as well as hundreds of recipes and a facsimile of the Carlina Rice Cook Book from 1901. The rice kitchen of Carolina was the result of myriad influences--Persian, Arab, French, English, and African--but it was primarily the creation of early African American cooks.


The recipes in this volume are a part of our American heritage. Karen Hess has included more than three hundred recipes for soups, fragrant pilaus, desserts, and bread, and instruction is offered in the proper way to cook rice so that every grain is perfectly separate. Although most of the recipes are attributed to notable ladies of Charleston and the surrounding plantations, with more than sixty recorded by Sarah Rutledge in the mid-nineteenth century, a number were from Georgia.

The Carolina Rice Kitchen - Karen Hess

SKU: 9780872496668
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