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Race, Class, and Food in 1940s Lowcountry South Carolina

Shrimp and Buttermilk Biscuits, recipe below (Shrimp image from Pinterest)
In doing research for the book Hog and Hominy, a came across a 1940s primary source that provides insights into race and class and the use of shrimp among whites and blacks in low country south Carolina. During the summer white families ate shrimp dishes like “fried shrimp” for breakfast, and shrimp and stew for dinner. For African Americans, shrimp appeared only one time, and it was on a fall menu as the breakfast dish “shrimp and gravy.” Side dishes common to black and white southern cooks included corn bread, baked sweet potatoes, turnips, and biscuits. The recipe below comes from the Chicago Defender. Chicago had been an important destination for southern migrants starting around the time of World War I as folks came to fill factory jobs in the windy city.


Buttermilk Biscuits Recipe

Ingredients
2 cups good buttermilk
1 mixing spoon of cream
2 teaspoons of soda
2 teaspoons of cream of tartar
A good pinch of salt
Flour (suggested amount below)

Method
Dissolve soda and cream of tartar in milk thoroughly or else sift with flour as preferred.
Add the first five ingredients with enough flour to make stiff. Roll out the dough and cut.

Bake in a quick oven. (Genevieve Whimp, The Chicago Defender, March 30, 1918.)

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Eating From Your Garden Series with Recipes: http://www.foodasalens.com/search?q=Eating+From+Your+Garden+This+Fall

South Carolina Foodways and Recipes Including Shrimp: http://www.foodasalens.com/search?q=South+Carolina+Foodways

Food and Religion in the Depression Era South

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