In my novel, The Thing About Home, Gullah Geechee and lowcountry food culture played a significant role in establishing the setting and atmosphere of the story. The descriptions of traditional dishes helped to paint a vivid picture of the region’s culinary traditions. Additionally, the shared experience of preparing and enjoying these dishes brought the characters together, highlighting the importance of food as a social and cultural activity in their way of life.
There’s always been farm-to-table dining among the region’s Gullah people. Gardening and farming are deeply ingrained in Gullah culture and have been a way of life for generations. The Gullah Geechee people have long relied on agriculture to provide for themselves and their communities, cultivating crops like rice, okra, and sweet potatoes. The Gullah Geechee people have been fishing and farming for their own food for centuries, using traditional methods and techniques that have been passed down in their families. These traditions play a large role in preserving Gullah heritage.
The food is awesome. It’s a mix of African and Native American flavors. One of their famous dishes is Hoppin’ John. It’s made with rice, black-eyed peas, and smoked pork, and people eat it on New Year’s Day for good luck. They also make a delicious Gumbo, which has okra, tomatoes, and seafood in it. Some of the other popular dishes in Gullah cooking are red rice, shrimp and grits, crab cakes, fried fish, and collard greens.
Gullah cuisine is all about celebrating the history and culture of the lowcountry region, and it’s a testament to the diversity and resilience of the Gullah Geechee people. If you love seafood, rice dishes, or hearty stews, then you must try some Gullah food. My character, Casey Black, did and she loved it!
Learn more about the food from Gullah Chef BJ Dennis – Click HERE
Here are some links for recipes:
Hoppin’ John Rice – Click HERE