The Lowcountry region stretches from the coastal plains of the Carolinas to the Georgia border. In food terms, Lowcountry means rice, grits, and produce paired with local crab, shrimp, fish, and oysters. Here's a crash course in the regional fare.
• Frogmore Stew (or Lowcountry Boil): No amphibians here. This steaming mix of shrimp, sausage, potatoes, and corn on the cob was named in honor of its inventor, who hailed from Frogmore, South Carolina. The dish can be served over newspaper for a casual meal.
• Shrimp and Grits: Locals enjoy their grits―creamy, topped with shrimp, and covered in rich gravy―for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
• Huguenot Torte: During the late 17th century, French Huguenots traveled to the Charleston area with dessert in hand. Today, the cakelike delicacy combines apples and nuts, and is recommended with a side of bourbon served neat.
• River House She-crab Soup : We think this hearty soup is best served steaming hot with a splash of sherry and garnished with chopped hard-boiled egg and freshly ground black pepper.
• Country Apple Slaw : What makes this recipe stand out is the balance of sweet, sour, and salty flavors. To prevent the apples from turning brown, be sure they're well coated with dressing before chilling.
• Shrimp and Hoppin' John Salad: Hoppin' John always combines black-eyed peas and rice. Although eating it on New Year's Day is said to bring good luck, it's a beloved side dish year-round.
• Honeycomb Spiral Ham : This recipe, from the Savannah Bee Company, features honeycomb tucked into slices of picnic ham. Purchase honeycomb at savannahbee.com, or look for it in jars of raw honey from specialty markets. If unavailable, drizzle about ¼ cup honey over ham before serving.
• Chocolate-Espresso Pots de Creme with Benne Seed Coins : Benne (an African word for sesame) seed cookies are a traditional Gullah recipe. The creamy chocolate mousse-like dessert makes a good contrast with these crispy treats. For a twist, we added coconut and almonds to give the cookie a sweeter flavor and extra texture.
• Bourbon Balls : Beware―these little morsels pack a punch. The bourbon flavor gets mellower with time, so make these at least one week ahead.
• Spiced Cider Tea : Enjoy sipping warm spiced cider around a crackling fire. Some versions are made with hard cider, but our recipe is family-friendly.