By Peg Moore

Samuel Gaillard Stoney once wrote, “If you take away the rice spoon from the Charleston dinner table, the meal that follows is not really a meal.”

Rice was traditionally served daily, sometimes at every meal. For 200 years Carolina Gold rice supported the local economy, which was the wealthiest of the colonial era. Rice created the wealth that built our historic district. Those buildings continue to attract heritage visitors who also seek a taste of place — culinary tourism is surging. “To know Charleston is to know rice and rice culture,” points out author John Martin Taylor in Hoppin’ John’s Lowcountry Cooking.

By Peg Moore

During the recent fast casual craze, it was feared that fine dining was over. Charleston did lose some cherished restaurants — Carolina’s, La Fourchette, and Il Cortile del Re. However, we also gained delicious new dining options — Vincent Chicco’s, Michael’s on the Alley, Barony Tavern and Le Farfalle, for example.

By Charleston Mercury Staff

One of the most anticipated annual spring events in Charleston is the opening of St. Philip’s Church’s famous Tea Room. The opportunity to catch up with friends and simultaneously support many important causes returns this April, offering daily Lowcountry lunch and delicious desserts.

By Peg Moore

Kale and quinoa may grab a lot of culinary headlines, but surveys show it is steak and burgers that are actually increasing dramatically in popularity and flavor. A good steak has traditionally starred at celebrations, but, in recent years, it is popular for everyday dining as well.

By Peg Moore

When the Lords Proprietors settled the Carolinas in the 17th century, they envisioned plantations producing wine. It was a normal expectation, given the wild grapes that flourish here. However, experiments with both local grapes and imported vines failed, though the tale of pre-Revolutionary winemaking at New Bordeaux on the Savannah River shows how close they came.

By Peg Moore

When Josiah Quincy visited Charleston in 1773, he feasted on turtle at the home of Thomas Lynch and “a prodigious fine pudding of rice flour” at the home of Thomas Smith. He admired the “handsome spacious room” of the Charleston Library Society and a concert sponsored by the St. Cecilia Society (“a Frenchman just arrived, played a first fiddle and solo better than any I ever had heard.”) His journal recorded the grandeur of the Miles Brewton house (inspired by Palladio’s Villa Conaro). Quincy described his dinner at a “most elegant table” as having “the richest wine I ever tasted.”

By Peg Moore

Bob Waggoner’s new cooking school is a delicious example of the changing sensibility toward the way we dine, whether in restaurants or at home.

Subcategories

Mercury newspaper racks are located at the following locations:

The Meeting Street Inn

Clair's Service Station at 334 Folly Rd.

Harris Teeter on Houston-Northcutt Blvd.

The Square Onion in I'On

Mt. Pleasant Library on Mathis Ferry Rd.