Recipes from Charleston and the Lowcountry

Charleston and the surrounding Lowcountry has a unique and important culinary history which provided a gateway many of the ingredients and recipes now used in everyday American cooking.   When the first settlers arrived in 1670 from Barbados and England to found Charlestown, the area was already inhabited by several Native American tribes which lived off the land; farmed, hunted and fished for centuries.  The settlers adopted the foods from the Native Americans and incorporated their own style and ingredients.  As additional cultures arrived from Europe and Africa, these cooking styles became part of the Lowcountry flavors. 

In colonial America, Charleston was a major trading port with ships arriving and departing for destinations throughout the world.  As a result, many of the items that we eat today had their first introduction to America.  Here are some of the food items that first appeared in Charleston and would later become available throughout the modern United States.

  • Rice
  • Okra
  • Grits
  • Eggplant
  • Sesame
  • Peanut


Charleston Style Grits

Edisto Shrimp & Grits

Steamed Blue Crabs

Slathered Shrimp and Pimento Cheese Grits

Charleston 13 Bean Soup

Charleston Skillet Cornbread

Mrs Sassard's Lowcountry Crab Cakes

Frogmore Stew (Lowcountry Boil)

South Carolina Style BBQ Beef Sandwich

Carolina Hush Puppies