What Is Low Country Cooking?
One of the many benefits of living along the South Carolina coast is enjoying the authentic cuisine. From Pawleys Island fine dining to fresh, local seafood you can pick up at the local market and prepare at home, the area’s dishes are never short on flavor. For centuries, Lowcountry cooking has been a part of the southern culture, but many immediately think of Charleston when it comes to the best Lowcountry dishes. While we certainly can’t argue with the fresh shrimp and grits at a few of Charleston’s renowned restaurants, there are a number of dishes from Pawleys Island restaurants that carry that thick, country flavor.
What Is The “Lowcountry”?
Before we dive into the many rich flavors of Lowcountry cuisine, let’s become familiar with the region itself. Lowcountry refers to the 80-mile span of low-lying land from the Savannah River in Georgia up into Georgetown County, just north of Charleston, SC. The region is often recognized for its old plantation-style homes, historic buildings, cobblestone streets and marshes. While the name stems from the low elevation of the land, Lowcountry cooking has taken on its own personality.
Forget the stereotypes of southern dishes being filled with fried, bland foods and step into the authentic flavors of Lowcountry cooking. Recipes are passed down from generation to generation, meals are made from scratch and nearly all the ingredients are sourced locally. Thanks to the region’s geographical presence, many dishes are filled with fresh seafood – shrimp, oysters, clams, fish, and more. When you pair the local seafood with vegetables from the corner farmer’s market, you create some of our favorite Lowcountry meals.
Best Lowcountry Meals
Whether you’ve lived along the South Carolina coast all your life, or you’re just passing through, you’ll quickly develop a favorite Lowcountry style. Whether you like your entrée with a little spice, or you prefer the rich flavors of meals that have simmered for hours, our top choices will have you enjoying many fine dining meals to come.
- She Crab Soup: Start your meal with a creamy bisque of blue crab meat, cream and spices. It’s a hearty soup that can start a fine dining experience or be a meal by itself. Pair the She Crab Soup with a Chardonnay to bring out the seafood flavors.
- Fried Green Tomatoes: A dish so great they made it a movie title! The best fried green tomatoes are cut thick, battered well, and cooked until golden brown. Try this Lowcountry favorite at Chive Blossom for lunch.
- Shrimp and Grits: If the Lowcountry is known for one dish, it’s shrimp and grits, and rightfully so. This southern cuisine can be prepared a number of different ways, but when the ingredients are local and fresh, you can’t go wrong. Chive Blossom serves a flavorful plate of shrimp and scallops over yellow stone-ground grits for dinner.
- Oysters: Whether you like them fried or freshly steamed, oysters have an undeniable flavor you’ll find throughout the Lowcountry. Add a bit of hot sauce, tarter or enjoy as is.
With the freshest seafood, locally grown vegetables and the purest spices and seasoning, Lowcountry cooking has earned a place at the table. Visit Chive Blossom, a favorite Pawleys Island fine dining restaurant, for Lowcountry flavors and fresh seafood.