Why South Carolina is doing culinary traditions right
Marshview Community Organic Farm
St. Helena Island, S.C.
The Gullahs are an enclave of African-Americans on the coastal and island areas of South Carolina. Descendants of slaves who worked on the area’s rice plantations, the Gullahs have a culinary tradition that is authentically American: hyperlocally sourced ingredients and cross-cultural dishes. Reynolds uses her family’s farm to teach locals about the Gullahs’ rich food history.
Why we chose this farm:
Reynolds wants agricultural and culinary traditions in the South Carolina lowlands to stay alive and healthy. That’s why the farm offers an educational program to teach local children how to farm and how to cook what they grow. “If you know how to grow it, the next step is to know how to cook it — that’s so important,” says Reynolds. The farm also launched the first CSA in the local town of Beaufort.
What is Gullah food, anyway?
“Traditional Gullah-style food is what the island is known for,” says Reynolds. “[It includes] any rice dish there is. Barbecue originally started somewhere on the island, many many years ago. Anything from the water — crab, shrimp, oysters, clams — everybody knew how to cook it. Okra, tomatoes, corn, squash, greens, cabbage, peanuts, sweet potatoes — you name it, we have it growing.” Yum.