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Translation Tuesday: Hushpuppies

April 3, 2012

And Translation Tuesday is BACK! This evenings topic, one of my most favorite foods: the hush puppy.  To clarify, I am talking about hush puppies the food, not the shoe or character. Now, I had hush puppies growing up north of the Mason-Dixon line… they had them at Long John Silvers and since they had them there, I assumed they were all over the place- I was wrong. When I took a group of exchange students down to Charleston last fall, I introduced them all to hushpuppies. These students were from all over North America and at least half of them had never had the deliciousness of a hushpuppy!

So, for those of you that do not know, a hush puppy is a ball of ground up cornmeal and seasoning that is molded into a little ball and then dipped in batter and fried. The best ones have a hint of sweetness to them and are not over fried. Some restaurants in the South, especially along the coat, will even put a bit of crab or shrimp meat in the middle. Now, I prefer to eat my hushpuppies plain or dipped in cocktail sauce. Some people like butter, I have seen others use tartar sauce. To each their own. I love to eat them with a plateful of steamed shrimp, but they are also great as an appetizer or a side dish. Regardless, they are so yummy.

According to Wikipedia (which is not exactly a scholarly source, but it works when you need quick info) “The name “hushpuppies” is often attributed to hunters, fishermen or other cooks who would fry some basic cornmeal mixture (possibly that they had been bread-coating or battering their own food with) and feed it to their dogs to “hush the puppies” during cook-outs or fish-fries.” Even I didn’t know that, I know some random things. Regardless of what the story is behind them, I love me some hushpuppies and I am so happy I can grab some at Cookout whenever I have a craving!

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