In 2011, I took my first trip to Charleston, South Carolina and immediately fell in love with the city.
Now, in the aftermath of the snowstorm that hit the Southern United States, and drove temperatures in Charleston down to record levels, Charleston is on my mind. I had come close to visiting it this month, but it never happened.
But back to 2011...
In that visit we had a wonderful location and easy access (an easy walk down the narrow
sidewalks of the historic Ansonborough neighborhood where we stayed) to the Charleston City Market.
One product that is local, and a revival of a historic heirloom food, is Carolina Gold Rice.
What we bought was grown locally and distributed through Charleston
Specialty Foods. The distinctive yellow cloth bags packages of this rice
are sold by several vendors at the market, and also are for sale at
various historical venues throughout the Charleston area. As the bag
"In 1685, a distressed merchant ship paid for repairs in Charleston with
a small quantity of rice seed from Madagascar. Dr. Henry Woodward
planted the seed in South Carolina, beginning the state's 200 year history as the leading rice producer in the United States."
So why should you pay a lot more for an heirloom variety of rice than
the plain old (I won't mention any brand names) stuff you find on the
For various reasons, including the freeing of enslaved populations whose labor had permitted the cultivation of rice, rice farming had slowed in the South
Carolina low country. The Carolina Gold
Rice Foundation is
attempting a comeback for this rice, and as the bag also explains "We
are proud to be South Carolina's first product made with Green-e
Certified Renewable Energy."
So how can you go wrong? In one swoop you encourage the production of
heritage foodstuffs, and support renewable energy and sustainable
The rice can be ordered online and they ship on - why not? Tuesdays. (I just offer this for information; I am not receiving any compensation for this.)
So, how does it taste? And what is the rice like?
I would judge it as medium grain.
It's definitely distinctive, and delicious. Spouse (our family cook) made a pilaf with it. It came out fluffy, and nice. To me, it also tastes like butter was already added to it.
And the best part? One of my cousins in my recent Florida visit had tasted Carolina Gold Rice and had much the same opinion.
I think South Carolina has a winner here.
Join Bellybytes at Mumbai on a High and Shilpa Gupte at Metanoia for their linky party at #FlavoursomeTuesdays. If you want to share a food related memory, why not join us?