January 06, 2006


In the Americas rice-and-bean dishes are associated primarily with peoples of African ancestry, and with justice...Hoppin' John is the signature dish of South Carolina, black and white.  As Helen Woodward wrote in her receipt for it in Two Hundred Years of Charleston Cooking (1976):  "South Carolinians, like my husband, who have been away from home a long time, if they feel a culinary homesickness, always long for something called Hoppin' John, with the accent on John."  Yankee though I be, I too get yearnings for it because it is such a satisfying dish; if, in addition, it had associations with home and the days of my youth, those feelings would be even more intense, I'm sure.  Fortunately, although it seems so rooted in its home territory, it is a dish that travels well, always supposing that one can find the proper peas -- and black-eye peas are everywhere available in the United States -- and the proper receipt, which must be a home grown South Carolina receipt.

          -- Karen Hess, The Carolina Rice Kitchen:  The African Connection (University of South Carolina Press, 1992)

Posted by Bakerina at 11:51 PM in valentines • (2) Comments
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