Shrimp and grits might be a more obvious choice, but Ed Mueller is lobbying for gumbo to be named S.C.'s state dish.
If you thought people got worked up over the idea of making barbecue the state’s official picnic food, wait till you get a load of this: A Lowcountry businessman who moved here last year from Michigan is lobbying state leaders for gumbo to become the state of South Carolina’s official dish. (Perhaps it’s no surprise that he’s also started a business selling prepackaged gumbo.)
It’s not New Orleans gumbo that Ed Mueller is pitching, but Lowcountry gumbo, an okra-heavy concoction featuring shrimp and crab.
However, as Hanna Raskin writes in the Post and Courier this week, although there is a distinct gumbo with South Carolina coastal roots, it’s not exactly the state’s most notable or historic dish.
Food historian David Shields at the University of South Carolina told Raskin there are plenty of better candidates.
“There were other dishes far more characteristic: perloo, chicken bog, pine bark stew, shrimp pie,” Shields said. “The 20th century saw shrimp and grits, she-crab soup, mustard-style barbecue.”
Mueller is prepared for those arguments: He told Raskin he’s pushing gumbo “because he suspects someone eventually might want to make a state dish case on behalf of shrimp and grits,” Raskin writes.
Of the candidates Shields names, perloo (also purloo, pilau, perlow, etc.) actually seems like the best idea to us here at Chew On This. The one-pot dish is usually made with poultry or seafood and veggies plus rice, perhaps the state’s most important historic crop: During colonial times, South Carolina produced more rice than anywhere in the country, for export all over the world; and rice worked its way firmly into the state’s food traditions, especially along the coast. Plus, perloo is fun to write and say. (It’s usually pronounced “PER-loh”.)
Would state legislators ever get behind such a humble dish as perloo, with its roots in Africa and the slave trade? Maybe it’s time.
At any rate, Free Times hasn’t yet seen a formal state dish proposal we can get behind.
Eat of the Sea
Want some seafood without venturing to the Lowcountry? Check out the Sea to Table dinner Thursday, June 26, at City Roots, the final Farm to Table dinner before things shut down for the hot summer. The four-course meal costs $75 and features she-crab panna cotta, a shrimp remoulade with a hoecake crumble, seared and smoked mahi-mahi and more. Visit the Farm to Table Event Company’s Facebook page for a link to online ticket sales and more information.
Eau Claire Hosts Fish Fry
Feeling less fancy than all that? Just want some plain old fried fish? This Friday, the Eau Claire Community Council hosts a fish fry from 4 to 8 p.m. Dinner is $10, which includes fried fish and bread, naturally, along with sweet potato fries and cole slaw or pasta salad, plus iced tea or lemonade. Prefer a sandwich? That’s $4.50. The fish fry is at 830 Wildwood Ave. All proceeds will go toward neighborhood outreach by the council, which is an umbrella organization for some 40 neighborhood groups in north Columbia. Visit eauclairecommunity.org to buy tickets online, or call 754-2407 or 420-2106.
Brew Pub Site Available
3520 Augusta Road, West Columbia. Click for more information.
Accepting Applications for Shakespeare’s Kidz!
Students ages 10-16 are invited to join South Carolina Shakespeare’s new youth company, with classes running September 20th-December 11th followed by a final performance. Contact Katie Mixon with questions about scholarships and applications: PKatieMixon@gmail.com.
Delicious Downtown Breakfast
Tony’s is open for breakfast every day from 7:30-10:30! Conveniently located on Washington St. right off Main. Stop in for something filling and delicious before work! Follow us for updates on specials.
Happy Hour and Sushi Specials All Week
Red Bowl in Lexington now has great early bird and late night sushi specials 7 days a week, as well as 99-cent kids meals on Saturdays! Click here for special information and hours.
Make Your Own Beer and Wine!
Come get started on your “liquid hobby” and help us celebrate our 46th year in the Columbia area. Bet Mar Liquid Hobby Shop: 736 St. Andrews Road.
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Free Times is looking for a highly organized, detail-oriented self-starter to assist in gathering material from advertisers, coordinating between the sales and production departments, and handling routine clerical tasks. Must be proficient on a Mac, able to conduct business via phone, email, text, Dropbox, social media platforms and face to face while under deadline in a fast-paced, sometimes distracting work environment. The position requires the ability to multitask, excellent oral and written communication skills, and solid experience in quickly learning new computer programs. This is a full time position with benefits. Send a cover letter, resume and salary expectation to email@example.com.
Wing Zone is now hiring for experienced delivery drivers, cooks & cashiers. Apply in person @ 132 Assembly St. or call 803-933-9464.
U.S. Security Associates
Now hiring immediately for armed and unarmed security officers. WE TRAIN YOU! Columbia & surrounding areas. ussecurityassociates.com