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Countdown to Savannah: Low Country Boil

Jan (jgk)

In early 2007, we started our official Countdown to Savannah. Each Sunday, we posted a different topic about this special city where we met for our first Great Slow Travel Gathering in Spring 2008.

With 63 posts over 14+ months, we learned a lot about the many facets of this historic, hospitable and intriguing American city. Our weekly posts touched on Savannah's history, famous people, architecture, food, culture, surrounding area and much more. We hope this information acquaints you with Savannah, entices you to visit this historic city, and prepares you for a very memorable trip.

Frogmore Stew

What IS Low Country Boil?

Have your ever heard of “Frogmore Stew”? Well, that’s the original name for what we now call “low country boil”.

The family of national guardsman, Richard Gay, created the wonderful one-pot dish; they owned Gay Fish Company on the island of St. Helena near Beaufort, South Carolina. "I was on weekend duty in the National Guard," Gay says, "and I'd sometimes get a lot of shrimp, put it in a pot with sausage and corn, and boil it up. Within an hour, we could have a complete meal for 100 people. The boys teased me that since I was from Frogmore, we'd name it Frogmore Stew. We put out copies of the recipe at the seafood market at the dock and began selling the other ingredients as well." When the postal service eliminated the name Frogmore, the dish’s name changed to Low Country Boil.

Throughout coastal Georgia and Carolina, you will find it served everywhere from restaurants to weddings, school suppers and family reunions. The basic dish contains shrimp, seafood seasoning, smoked sausage, corn on the cob, and potatoes. But onions, crab, and butter are often added.

Here’s a sample recipe from Paula Dean:

  • Crab boil, 2 teaspoons per quart of water
  • 12 red new potatoes
  • 6 (4-inch) smoked sausage link sausage
  • 6 ears corn
  • 3 pounds fresh shrimp, unpeeled

Fill a large pot with enough water to cover all of the ingredients.
Add the crab boil and bring to a boil. Adjust the crab boil to suit your taste.
When the water boils, add the potatoes and sausage.
Cook on medium heat for 20 minutes.
Add corn and cook for an additional 10 minutes.
Add shrimp and cook for no more than 3 minutes.
Drain and serve with warm bread.

Beer is the favorite beverage to accompany the stew but wine is fine too.

I can’t wait to try it in Savannah!


All About Savannah: Links to many information pages about Savannah (where to eat, where to stay, places of interest, getting around town, and more)

Author: Read Jan's blog, "Keep your Feet in the Street"

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