The Fabled Lowcountry Boil

I’ve always been a big fan of regional specialities and food culture. New York pizza, New Jersey diners, Midwest cheese curds, California avocados (really all the produce,) and not just America: I’ve had gyros in Greece, perogies in Poland, and gelato in Italy (sadly I can only claim two continents worth of food experience.)  But yes, my expertise does lie mostly in American cuisine and I don’t think there is another place with so many regional specialities as the Carolinas, specifically the South Carolina Lowcountry. This is one of the only areas in the United States where you can find locally grown tea, raw peanuts (they’re almost always roasted before shipping,) and frankly the best shrimp that money can buy.

Luckily, I got to spend last weekend on Edisto Island with some family and I had an opportunity to whip up a proper

Lowcountry Boil (all ingredients are approximate based on preference and hunger)

per person:

-1/2 lb. shrimp, head off, unpeeled

-1/4 lb. smoked sausage (something like a kielbasa)

-1 ear corn, shucked, broken in half

-3 – 4 red potatoes (2 or 3 inch diameter)

-2 teaspoon Old Bay

-you can also through in some quartered onion or halved lemon for flavor

Rinse your potatoes and put them in a great big pot half full of water. Add your Old Bay and heat until boiling.

When the potatoes are about halfway done, 10 or 15 minutes after the water boils, add the corn and sausage and return to boil.

After 5 more minutes add the shrimp to the pot. In 3-5 minutes the shrimp will be cooked and dinner is ready.

If you’re lucky and can eat this outside; the traditional manner is to eschew plates, spread newpaper on a picnic table and dump the contents of the pot in the middle of the table. If you’re eating inside, you’ll probably want a big bowl or platter and a couple pairs of tongs.

I also got a chance to pick up some of the aforementioned raw peanuts and brought home 5 gallons of ocean water. I’m working on harvesting sea salt as I write this. Stay tuned for updates on that and Hot Boiled Peanuts. If you want to learn more about the Lowcountry, click here. You should click there, it’s an amazing place.


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