My Weekend in Kiawah Island, Part II

If there’s one thing I do love about visiting the south, it’s the food.  Being from New York means having easy access to a wide variety of foods from around the world.  Southern cooking, however, isn’t as common as say, finding a slice of pizza or a hot dog cart.  There are a handful of soul-food joints in and around Harlem that do some of the best southern cuisine in the country though.  Still, for the authentic best taste, ya gotta go to the source.  In this case, I take you now to a cookout at Kiawah Island.

For my cousin’s wedding, we had a pre-wedding party which involved a southern-style cookout underneath willow trees at the edge of a riverbank.  It was a picture-perfect setting: hanging lanterns and lights dangling from every branch, wood-chips under our feet, bonfires, booze, and a banquet of barbecue stretching from South Carolina to North Carolina and back.  And it being the south, the bartenders had an assortment of bourbons to choose from.  I myself, am not a true connosueir of the smoky liquid; it tastes like a delicious housefire.  My cousins, however, love a good old-fashioned and it does make the flavor of the bbq come alive.  Oh, and because it was South Carolina, it was all about the oysters.  Being so close to the water allows locals easy access to shrimp, prawns, and the special shellfish that for some reason, people claim to be an aphrodisiac.

The best part of this southern feast was the assortment of barbecue sauces we had.  For the North Carolinians, a vinegar-based sauce had a nice tang with a hint of apple cider.  There was a Tennessee sauce that had a sticky-sweetness to it that when cooked on meat, left a smooth, yet candy-coated glaze.  For the daring, there was a Texas-based sauce that had a spicy mix of peppercorns and hot peppers that for me, went great with almost every dish.  And what meat was there, well there was barbecued chicken and ribs.  The main attraction, however, was a whole roast pig.  No, really, a whole pig that was roasted and chopped.  In the south, roasting a whole hog for barbecue is a tradition if not a delicacy.  After hours of slow roasting, cooks do what is called “pig-picking” which is where they pull bones from the slow-roasted goodness leaving nothing behind but tender meat.  The remaining meat is collected, chopped, and spices are added to the swine.  Depending on where you are from, the flavors change from region to region.  Memphis-style calls for a dry rub, St. Louis and Kansas City are all about the sauce, Texas leaves it mostly dry if not au natural, and North Carolina and Georgia rely on vinegar-based or mustard based sauces respectively.

Roasted Whole Hog and Oysters.  "Don't hog the shellfish!"

Roasted Whole Hog and Oysters. “Don’t hog the shellfish!”

Roast chicken, green beans with bacon, and corn bread

Roast chicken, green beans with bacon, and corn bread

Kiawah Island BBQ: ribs, red rice, fried okra, macaroni & cheese

Kiawah Island BBQ: ribs, red rice, fried okra, macaroni & cheese

About admin

I am a graduate of Stony Brook University, and I have a degree in History. I am an avid traveler, with an extensive knowledge of geography, a passion for photography, and a knowledge of animals too. I enjoy pop music of the 1980's, fine dining, movies, baseball, basketball, and rugby.
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