cuisine

These vats at Columbia microbrewery Hunter Gatherer yield locally crafted beer popular with Midlands beer connoisseurs.
Clay Sears/SC Public Radio

Small scale brewing operations like River Rat and Hunter Gatherer in Columbia are representative of the growing craft beer industry in South Carolina and nationwide. For this story we spoke with Kevin Varner, founder of Hunter Gatherer Brewing, about the laws he helped pass back in 1995 that gave brewers more freedom to run their operations. We also sat down with River Rat brewmaster Drew Walker, who talked about how brewers work to stay on top of such a rapidly changing industry.

Food maestros in our state continue to win national awards.  The most recent example is a Lowcountry chef who received recognition for two of her creations earlier this year at the 2018 Good Foods Awards in San Francisco.

Mike Switzer interviews Leslie Rohland, owner of The Juice Hive and Health Emporium in Old Town and the Cottage Cafe, Bakery, and Tea Room in Old Town, Bluffton, SC, who won the pickles category for her Shiso Leaf Kimchi and Low Country Kimchi.

Epworth Children's Home in Columbia will soon make available to the public a treat that its residents and visitors have enjoyed for decades: peanut butter ice cream, which has been produced at the home since the Great Depression.
Photo courtesy Riggs Partners, West Columbia, S.C.

For decades, Epworth Children's Home in Columbia has been well known in Methodist circles for two things: caring for children, and the unique dessert it has produced since the Great Depression: peanut butter ice cream.  The government sent the home large quantities of peanut butter to help give the children protein, and the cooks served it in every way they could think of, said Epworth President John Holler.   In those days, the home had a dairy, so someone suggested  trying to make ice cream with it. 

photo of a roasted, whole turkey
Tim Sackton [CC BY-SA 2.0] via Flickr

(THE CONVERSATION) - 'Tis the season for giblets, wattles and snoods – oh my. On Thanksgiving and Christmas, Americans consume about 68 million turkeys – one for about every five of us. In fact, 29 percent of all turkeys gobbled down in the U.S. are consumed during the holidays.

photo of turkey
Ryan McDonough [CC BY 2.0] via Flickr

(THE CONVERSATION) - Intensive livestock farming is a huge global industry that serves up millions of tons of beef, pork and poultry every year. When I asked one producer recently to name something his industry thinks about that consumers don't, he replied, "Beaks and butts." This was his shorthand for animal parts that consumers – especially in wealthy nations – don't choose to eat.

Christina Miles cools chocolate in a mold from her vat of liquid chocolate.  The Columbia chocolatier uses chocolate from Belgium and France to make her own unique candies, and hand-paints them with icing.
Tut Underwood/SC Public Radio

Chocolate is one of life's great treats for most folks.  Traditional, mass-produced chocolate candies have been enjoyed for generations, but lately, specialists have been making chocolates in South Carolina.  Columbia chocolatiers Christina Miles and Joseph Vernon have developed their own unique varieties of chocolates. 

(Originally broadcast 05/19/17) South Carolina native "Princess" Pamela Strobel ruled a small realm, but her powers ranged far and wide. Her speakeasy-style restaurant in Manhattan was for three decades a hip salon, with regulars from Andy Warhol to Diana Ross. Her iconic Southern dishes influenced chefs nationwide, and her cookbook became a bible for a generation who yearned for the home cooking left behind in the Great Migration. One of the earliest books to coin soul food, this touchstone of African-American cuisine fell out of print more than forty years ago.

These ladies have the responsibility of judging baked goods at the South Carolina State Fair, and they take their work seriously.
Tut Underwood/ SC Public Radio

(Originally aired in 2016) - Eating cupcakes, pies, cakes, and cookies is a pleasure for most folks, but for judges at the South Carolina State Fair, it’s also a responsibility.  Judges Laurie Aker and Mae Wells say because baking contestants work hard to prepare their entries, they should also be diligent in evaluating each entry to get the fairest (no pun intended) and most accurate result in determining winners.  Here they give their criteria for judging food, and for a judge’s qualifications.      Aker lists some common mistakes made by some cooks, and judge supervisor Brenda Turner tel

"S" is for Sanders, Dorinda [Sua] Watsee [b. 1934]. Farmer, novelist. After graduating from the segregated schools in York County, Dori Sanders attended community colleges in Maryland. Then, during the winter, she worked as a banquet manager. During the summer she worked on her family’s 200-acre farm and helped staff Sanders’ Peach Shed on US Highway 321. She had been writing for a number of years and in 1990, Algonquin Press published her first novel, Clover. The lyrical novel received rave reviews, won the Lillian Smith Book Award, and later became a made-for-television motion picture.

Pamela Strobel
Courtesy of Tim Sulton/Rizzoli

South Carolina native “Princess” Pamela Strobel ruled a small realm, but her powers ranged far and wide. Her speakeasy-style restaurant in Manhattan was for three decades a hip salon, with regulars from Andy Warhol to Diana Ross. Her iconic Southern dishes influenced chefs nationwide, and her cookbook became a bible for a generation who yearned for the home cooking left behind in the Great Migration.

Food tourists get good food and a history lesson during a food tour on Columbia's Main Street.
Tut Underwood/ SC Public Radio

While most folks know that tourism is one of South Carolina’s top industries, many do not know that food tourism is a growing phenomenon around the state.

A tiny pink peanut is not a white rhinoceros. Nor is it a green turtle or a Bengal tiger. But until a few years ago the Carolina African runner peanut — at one time, the South's most praised peanut, packed with flavor and rich with oil — was much like the rhinoceros and turtle and tiger. That is, it was nearly extinct.

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. The South Carolina Department of Agriculture has a commitment to our major row crop farmers but new programs provide support for niche farmers and entrepreneurs who are finding ways to join in the local foods movement. The South Carolina Specialty Foods Association has a free catalog available if you call the Ag Department or find it on line.

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. I’m been looking into different kinds of butt rubs recently. Now this is not a cure for cellulite or a remedy for diaper rash – butt rubs are actually cherished family recipes used to enhance the flavor of meats – pork roasts, steaks, or even hamburgers. Often developed by men who love to barbecue, these seasoning mixes are a fun way to add interest to outdoor cooking.

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and ​and Making It Grow. If I were collecting acorns to plant, I sure wouldn’t pick up the ones that had been gnawed or pecked at by squirrels or blue jays. Turns out I’d be wrong!  Thank goodness a group of scientists decided to study   the germination rates of acorns that were partially eaten or left intact by squirrels or jays and found that the sprouting rates were equal or even higher among the nuts that had been damaged. 

Southern Provisions

Nov 21, 2016
Dr. David Shields
USC

(Originally broadcast 01/22/16) -  Southern food is America’s quintessential cuisine. From creamy grits to simmering pots of beans and greens, we think we know how these classic foods should taste. Yet the southern food we eat today tastes almost nothing like the dishes our ancestors enjoyed because the varied crops and livestock that originally defined this cuisine have largely disappeared. Now, a growing movement of chefs and farmers is seeking to change that by recovering the rich flavor and diversity of southern food.

Food tourists get good food and a history lesson during a food tour on Columbia's Main Street.
Tut Underwood/SC Public Radio

    While most folks know that tourism is South Carolina’s number one industry, many do not know that food tourism is a growing phenomenon around the state. Brian Cole operators a food tourism business in Columbia, and conducts his clients each weekend on visits to about six different restaurants to sample the fare and learn about the eateries’ specialties and history.

For healthy summer eating a Columbia chef has prepared a barbecue sandwich substituting jackfruit for pork.
Tut Underwood/SC Public Radio

  People think of certain foods more often in the summer – barbecue on the grill, or maybe ice cream or watermelon. They can actually crave certain foods during various seasons, according to nutritionist Trisha Mandes and USC Public Health Professor Brie Turner-McGrievey. The reason is often that people can have low-grade addictions to some foods because they release chemicals in the brain that make them feel good – an opiate-like effect, says Mandes. High on the list of addictive foods is cheese.

The South Carolina Cornbread Festival features a cornbread eating contest among other fun events that help celebrate a favorite staple of the Southern diet.
Tut Underwood/SC Public Radio

South Carolinians celebrate elements of the state’s culture in festivals all over the state, and especially its foodstuffs, from peaches to peanuts.  So it’s natural that they would establish a festival to proclaim their love for another traditional culinary favorite – cornbread.  In today’s report, a visit to the South Carolina Cornbread Festival  reveals that there’s more to it than the traditional buttered variety found in many homes.  Festival organizer Sabrina Odom tells us that people make cornbread in a large variety of styles and flavors, from pineapple cornbread to sweet potato cor

Southern Provisions

Apr 15, 2016
Dr. David Shields
USC

(Originally broadcast 01/22/16) -  Southern food is America’s quintessential cuisine. From creamy grits to simmering pots of beans and greens, we think we know how these classic foods should taste. Yet the southern food we eat today tastes almost nothing like the dishes our ancestors enjoyed because the varied crops and livestock that originally defined this cuisine have largely disappeared. Now, a growing movement of chefs and farmers is seeking to change that by recovering the rich flavor and diversity of southern food.

A glass of iced tea.
Pixabay

  On a warm day, a cold glass of sweet tea, called by some “the house wine of the South,” goes down mighty nicely.  It’s a drink that’s enjoyed all over the region, but nowhere is it appreciated more than in Summerville, which calls itself “the birthplace of sweet tea.”   According to storyteller and tea enthusiast Tim Lowry, the designation stems from an old soldiers’ reunion held in Summerville in 1890.  

 

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Tucked among the alligator-filled lagoons and golf courses of Hilton Head, one of our Chef Ambassadors, Orchid Paulmeier, presides over a kitchen with room for family and friends at her restaurant, One Hot Momma’s American Grille. The daughter of immigrants from the Philippines, Chef Paulmeier recalls her days cooking with her Filipino grandmother and mother as she makes comfort food classics of the South tweaked with her signature sauces. Exotic undertones are evident in her dirty rice and gravy, smoke fried chicken and other low country favorites. These creations share the spot light with her creation crafted for the Girl Scouts’ Death by Chocolate Gala – a Chocolate BBQ Baby Back Ribs appetizer!

  

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. The SC Chef Ambassador program selects talented cooks who blend culinary expertise with locally-sourced vegetables and animal products. Mount Pleasant is home to the Old Village Post Inn and one of our Chef Ambassadors, Forrest Parker. He updates traditional recipes with modern adjustments – focusing on using fresh and local ingredients. A former tour guide in the Holy City, Chef Parker knows how to keep your attention from wandering with such offerings as crab cakes with shaved fennel salad, dressed witha blood orange vinaigrette, especially if you start your evening with his Barn Raiser cocktail. Tune in tomorrow for another chef profile of the 2016 Chef Ambassador.


Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. The South Carolina Chef Ambassadors for 2016 represent restaurants from the urban areas of our state. The Famously Hot Capital city of Columbia is home to one of these chefs, Chef Ramone Dickerson, already made famous for a reality show on the Oprah network called Wingmen. At his Bluff Road outlet Wing City, Dickerson breaks the mold of traditional wing choices. Among his unusual offerings are wings stuffed with collards and rice and how about this -- even chicken and waffle! At local music or farm festivals and other locations, you might see his food truck 2 Fat to Fly. Expect the menu to change and have new additions—Chef Dickerson’s mission statement includes this line “everything you have ever known about chicken wings is now null and void!” Tune in tomorrow for another chef profile of the 2016 Chef Ambassador.


Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. One of the four 2016 Chef Ambassador is Teryi Youngblood who heads up the kitchen at Passerelle Bistro located by the Reedy River Falls Park in downtown Greenville, appropriately named as passerelle means footbridge in French. Chef Youngblood’s menu reflects a French connection without losing touch with South Carolina’s deep agricultural heritage. Escargot appear on the same menu as locally-caught shrimp from the low-country. The nearby farms provide pasture-raised pork which Chef Teryi braises in white wine and mustard. Youngblood says connecting with growers will be her focus as a chef ambassador – encouraging farmers to produce unusual products knowing they will have a market for their harvest and she can develop recipes relying on the local and sustainable harvest. Tune in tomorrow for another chef profile of the 2016 Chef Ambassador.


Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Recently, Governor Nikki Haley, the South Carolina Department of Parks Recreations and Tourism and the South Carolina Department of Agriculture announced the 2016 Chef Ambassadors representatives for our state. These four individuals prepare the wide array of foods, from chicken wings to peanut encrusted sword fish. These Chef Ambassadors blend panache, verve, and their connections to local producers of vegetables, fruits and animals products to bring tasty and tempting food to their community. Last year, the winners were working their kitchen magic in rural parts of the state. This year, the Chefs are from more urban places but their commitment to locally-sourced ingredients remains the same.

  

  Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Dr. David Bradshaw’s love of heirloom vegetables and his easy-going nature made other vegetable growers want to share their family seeds with him, too. Mr. Oliver Ridley from Mountain Rest grew John Haulk Corn for over fifty years and presented seeds to the SC Botanical Garden and Bradshaw Collection in 1992 and it’s availabale through the Bradshaw heirloom collection. This corn grows to be fifteen feet tall and is wonderful when dried and ground up for cornmeal. Glenn Roberts of Anson Mills read about this corn in old documents and realized that it was ground after it froze in the field – a technique he adopted to protect the flavor of his ground corn from the heat of the milling process. Now Anson Mills continues to use that cold ground technique to produce corn meal and grits with a delicious corny taste.