Posted by: palmettoislandgirl | August 21, 2015

Traditional Lowcountry Meal: Shrimp and Okra

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Shrimp and okra, a delicious combination.  There is some fat back in there too, but bacon works just as good.

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Gotta have rice too!

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Okra plants with beautiful blossoms.

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Okra ready to be cut.

In the Lowcountry Shrimp dishes are very common and in the Gullah tradition shrimp and okra is expected.  The two main ingredients are harvested in the same season and it’s perfect to prepare the dish during that time.  We are fortunate to be able to going shrimping and grow our on okra and together they are so delicious!
This meal was common among slaves who knew of okra from West African countries like Sierra Leone.  Most West African coastal countries also had a strong rice culture. They were sought after and brought to the coastal south largely because of their skill of cultivating rice.  South Carolina was the largest producer of rice at one time, the variety became known as Carolina Gold.  When possible slaves harvested whatever food they, could from the local creeks and the sea shore.  Shrimp, crab, and a variety of fish became a supplement to their slave rations.  So, combine the common crops rice, okra with shrimp and bits of pork they were allowed and it became a meal passed down through generations.  Okra was also combined with other vegetables and any bits of meat to make stews and gumbo.  That served with rice and a side if cornbread makes a hearty meal.

So if you are wondering what to do with all the okra you planted or were given from a friend, try Shrimp and okra over rice and you won’t regret it.

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