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Gullah Islands Cooking Culture

Updated on August 6, 2014
"The Old Plantation," South Carolina, about 1790.  This famous painting shows Gullah slaves dancing and playing musical instruments derived from Africa
"The Old Plantation," South Carolina, about 1790. This famous painting shows Gullah slaves dancing and playing musical instruments derived from Africa | Source

Gullah Speak

"Ie hab disshuh dreem dat one day dis America gwi’ come up ‘n be tru’ mout’ ob de law wah call de Creed: “We hol’ dees trut’ fuh be sef-ebbuhdent, dat all man duh mek equal.”

~ Martin Luther King's "I have a Dream" Translated by Alphonso Brown in the Gullah Language

Gullah Influence

Map of Gullah Influence
Map of Gullah Influence | Source

Gullah Folk Magic

Favorite Foods From the South

While growing up, one of my favorite meals as a kid was a chicken, sausage and rice dish called Chicken Bog. It just so happened that one of my father's best friends hailed from the state of South Carolina, which he'd shared a recent popular rural dish that supposedly came from South Carolina origins. To me, it resembled a dish that would come from the Gullah Islands culture.

Gullah refers to a group of African Americans who are descendants of West African slaves, and live on the outer-lying islands and inner coastal areas of southern North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and northern Florida.

My Father's Recipe: Chicken Bog

2 Pkgs Uncle Ben’s Original Wild Grain Rice

1 Whole Chicken (Boiled & Deboned – Reserve ½ cup broth)

2 Pkgs of Hillshire Farm Smoked Sausage

1/4 Stick of Butter

Boil 3 cups of water, ½ cup broth & ¼ stick of butter in skillet. Add deboned chicken and sliced sausage and let boil for a few minutes. Then add Uncle Ben’s seasoning packets and stir into mix. Add in wild rice and stir before setting to simmer, and cover with lid. Rice should take about thirty minutes to fully cook and consistency is a bit wet. Just sit aside and remove lid to air dry before serving.

Gullah Cuisine

Gullah Staples

Gullah also refers to a migrating culture with origins from Africa. During the eighteenth century, African slaves were brought into South Carolina, bartered and sold for manual labor on large operating plantations.

After the end of the slavery system, emancipated slaves in the Gullah Islands territories lived in a state of isolation, and much of their African tradition and culture remained intact such as their knowledge of rice cultivation and shrimp fishing, and traditional one pot dishes which might have most likely consisted of rice and seafood, main staples, as well as various vegetables such as corn, sweet potatoes, collards, turnips, okra, peas, and tomatoes. Aside from seafood, other meats such as sausage and wild game were also used in these one pot dishes, which in the present day are known as casseroles.

Sweetgrass Basket Weaving

A gullah woman makes a sweetgrass basket in Charleston's City Market
A gullah woman makes a sweetgrass basket in Charleston's City Market | Source

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All About Gullah

© 2012 ziyena

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  • diogenes profile image

    diogenes 5 years ago from UK and Mexico

    Yummee, but a bit purine rich for my gout!

    Sounds like a Lousianna dish, and definitely has Spansih roots I'm sure, they do a lot of dishes like that.

    Bob

  • ziyena profile image
    Author

    ziyena 5 years ago from Southern Colorado

    Attikos

    I do believe in ghostly apparitions :)

  • Attikos profile image

    Attikos 5 years ago from East Cackalacky

    I once knew a Gullah. He kept talking about plateyes and the Guppie.

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