By John Martin Taylor
"The best regional cookbook in many years."— Vogue
Hey, y'all! Crab boils, fish fries, oyster roasts, and barbecues—in the lowcountry, the food itself is entertainment. So get ready to start rejoicing with Hoppin' John's Lowcountry Cooking: Recipes & Ruminations from Charleston and the Carolina Coastal Plain by John Martin Taylor, a collection of more than 150 recipes of the region's native dishes, like Shrimp & Grits, Sweet Potato Pie, and Crawfish Gumbo.
The South Carolina lowcountry is as rich in history and culture as the land is lush. At Frogmore Stews and cotillions, in fancy Charleston restaurants and renovated townhouses, the luxuriant cooking of the Carolina coast has made a dramatic comeback, thanks in large part to John Martin Taylor. "I prefer to think of myself as the lowcountry's culinary preservationist," he says.
In Hoppin' John's Lowcountry Cooking, he writes so provocatively and gives such a strong sense of place that people want to go and taste for themselves. Which is why Gourmet magazine wrote of Taylor, "No one has done more for Charleston's culinary resurgence."
"Few regional cookbooks aim quite as high as this one, but the unorthodox scope of Taylor's survey is no surprise to the friends who marveled at his fanatical devotion to the Lowcountry...Taylor's done exactly what regional cookbooks should do and usually don't," said the Los Angeles Times when this classic was published in hardcover in 1992.
Lowcountry cooking is a cuisine of water—of the ocean and marshes and ponds and swamps. It is delicately smoked mullet and eel; heavenly light crab cakes. Oysters are abundant. The lowcountry table is filled with rice and grits. A vast array of condiments add harmonies of color, flavor, and texture to lowcountry meals—scuppernong jam, dilled green beans, pickled watermelon rind, fig conserve, and pear chutney.
Hoppin' John's Lowcountry Cooking is filled with a wealth of traditional and contemporary recipes that represent the region's best, from She-Crab Soup and Bessie's Crabcakes, to Benne Oyster Soup and Artichoke Relish. This is a lyrical American cookbook and a travelogue to a unique way of life, with recipes for Smoked Nuisance Gator Tail and Squirrel Burgoo.
John Martin Taylor, a.k.a. Hoppin' John, grew up casting shrimp nets off Hilton Head Island. For many years, he owned one of the country's best-known culinary bookstores and has been credited with Charleston's culinary resurgence. He makes and sells his own line of traditional southern dishes and food products and is the author of four cookbooks. He lives in Charleston, South Carolina.
Recipes & Ruminations from
Charleston and the Carolina Coastal Plain
By John Martin Taylor
Houghton Mifflin Company, April 2000
Information provided by the publisher.
This page created July 2000
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