The Low Country Boil
What is a Low Country Boil?
A seafood boil is a very general term for all kinds of social events in which shellfish is the central element. Where you live, and what is readily available to you will dictate the kinds of seafood, the accompaniments and side dishes, and the preparation techniques (boiling, steaming, baking, or raw). Sometimes, a boil could be sponsored by a community organization as a fund-raiser or a mixer. But boils are also held by individuals for their friends and family for weekend get-togethers, family reunions, and on the summer holidays. While boils and bakes are traditionally associated with coastal regions of the United States, there are exceptions
The Low Country boil is a one-pot meal for the masses and was originally called Frogmore Stew. Its origin is credited to Richard Gay, a National Guardsman who had the challenging job to cook a meal for over 100 soldiers and made the decision to utilize an old family recipe. The meal was an instant hit! The dish was named Frogmore for the town that Richard grew up in - as the soldiers would tease him about his hometown’s name. Eventually, when the postal service eliminated the name Frogmore, the dish was renamed Low Country Boil.
The origins of the Low Country Boil go further back to the traditions of the Gullah people along the coasts of Georgia and South Carolina. Africans in the slave trade had brought with them not only cooking influences from their homeland, but Spanish and French cooking influences as well. Meals for large groups of people could be made as quickly as possible with readily-available foods. The boil was a quick and easy way to prepare all the foods at once
Traditionally, the stew is made with a combination of shrimp, sausage, corn and potatoes. It’s a perfect dish to create to please a crown. Often, folks may add such ingredients as crab, onion and butter. A removable drain basket in the pot helps make the cooking easier. Many will serve the Low Country Boil on newspaper, which certainly allows for easy clean-up.
The Low Country region of the United States stretches from the coastal plains of the Carolinas to the Georgia border. When we talk about food, Low Country means rice, grits, and produce paired with local crab, shrimp, fish, and oysters.
Other traditional Low Country dishes are a favorite for many. One traditional Low Country meal might include shrimp served over creamy grits and covered in gravy. The Huguenot Torte is another traditional Low Country food. It’s a cakelike dessert with apples and nuts and is often served with a side of bourbon served neat. She-crab soup is a hearty soup, often garnished with chopped hard-boiled egg and makes good use of the plentiful crab population in this area of the States. For dessert, a Low Country favorite is Chocolate-Espresso Pots de Creme with Benne Seed Coins : The traditional Benne seed cookies are served with along with a creamy chocolate mousse-like dessert. The small, crispy cookies make a nice contrast to the creamy dish.
As always, we encourage you to contact the event planners in our office to work out your own menu preferences. Tim and Mickey are always ready to help you plan your own special event.