Rice and gravy
Rice and gravy is a staple of Louisiana Creole and Cajun cuisine and is a brown gravy based on pan drippings, which are deglazed and simmered with extra seasonings and served over steamed or boiled rice. Rice has been a major agricultural export crop in southwest Louisiana since the late 1800s and has become a staple of local cuisine in dishes such as boudin, gumbo and étouffée. Rice and gravy is traditionally made from cheaper cuts of meat and cooked in a cast iron pot for a long time in order to let the tough cuts of meat become tender. Beef, chicken or any other meat can be used in its preparation. Fattier cuts of beef and pork, as well as chicken, rabbit, turkey necks, wild pig, duck lend themselves more to the making of the gravy, while venison and leaner cuts of beef and pork are more difficult to make tender, but can be helped by adding andouille sausage or cured pork tasso to the dish during the browning or smothering process; the meat is cooked with the Cajun holy trinity, a mirepoix variant of onions, bell peppers, celery in equal quantities, although other vegetables can be used.
A dish favored by farmers and laborers, it is now served in local plate lunch houses. Raised on Rice and Gravy, a 2009 documentary film by Conni Castille and Allison Bohl, chronicles the prevalence of the dish at local plate lunch houses and its enduring popularity in Acadiana cuisine. Abbeville native Bobby Charles' Rice'N' Gravy Records is named for the popular dish. Acadian Village in Lafayette is home to the annual "Rice and Gravy Cook-Off" sponsored by the Louisiana Beef Council. Dirty rice Red beans and rice Castille, Conni. "Raised on Rice and Gravy". Archived from the original on 2013-01-19. Retrieved 2012-11-24. "Rice and Gravy". Bouillie. 2011-03-29. Retrieved 2012-11-24. "Calories in Rice with gravy". Fatsecret.com. Retrieved 2012-11-24
The onion known as the bulb onion or common onion, is a vegetable, the most cultivated species of the genus Allium. Its close relatives include the garlic, leek and Chinese onion; this genus contains several other species variously referred to as onions and cultivated for food, such as the Japanese bunching onion, the tree onion, the Canada onion. The name "wild onion" is applied to a number of Allium species, but A. cepa is known from cultivation. Its ancestral wild original form is not known, although escapes from cultivation have become established in some regions; the onion is most a biennial or a perennial plant, but is treated as an annual and harvested in its first growing season. The onion plant has a fan of hollow, bluish-green leaves and its bulb at the base of the plant begins to swell when a certain day-length is reached; the bulbs are composed of shortened, underground stems surrounded by fleshy modified scale that envelop a central bud at the tip of the stem. In the autumn, the foliage dies down and the outer layers of the bulb become dry and brittle.
The crop is harvested and dried and the onions are ready for use or storage. The crop is prone to attack by a number of pests and diseases the onion fly, the onion eelworm, various fungi cause rotting; some varieties of A. cepa, such as shallots and potato onions, produce multiple bulbs. Onions are used around the world; as a food item, they are served cooked, as a vegetable or part of a prepared savoury dish, but can be eaten raw or used to make pickles or chutneys. They are pungent when contain certain chemical substances which irritate the eyes; the onion plant known as the bulb onion or common onion, is the most cultivated species of the genus Allium. It was first described by Carl Linnaeus in his 1753 work Species Plantarum. A number of synonyms have appeared in its taxonomic history: Allium cepa var. aggregatum – G. Don Allium cepa var. bulbiferum – Regel Allium cepa var. cepa – Linnaeus Allium cepa var. multiplicans – L. H. Bailey Allium cepa var. proliferum – Regel Allium cepa var. solaninum – Alef Allium cepa var. viviparum – Mansf.
A. Cepa is known from cultivation, but related wild species occur in Central Asia; the most related species include A. vavilovii and A. asarense from Iran. However and Hopf state that "there are doubts whether the A. vavilovii collections tested represent genuine wild material or only feral derivatives of the crop."The vast majority of cultivars of A. cepa belong to the "common onion group" and are referred to as "onions". The Aggregatum group of cultivars includes both shallots and potato onions; the genus Allium contains a number of other species variously referred to as onions and cultivated for food, such as the Japanese bunching onion, Egyptian onion, Canada onion. Cepa is accepted as Latin for "onion" and has an affinity with Ancient Greek: κάπια and Albanian: qepë and is ancestral to Aromanian: tseapã, Catalan: ceba, Occitan: ceba, Spanish: cebolla, Romanian: ceapă; the English word chive is derived from the Old French cive, which derived from cepa. The onion plant has been selectively bred in cultivation for at least 7,000 years.
It is a biennial plant, but is grown as an annual. Modern varieties grow to a height of 15 to 45 cm; the leaves are yellowish - to bluish green and grow alternately in a fan-shaped swathe. They are fleshy and cylindrical, with one flattened side, they are at their broadest about a quarter of the way up, beyond which they taper towards a blunt tip. The base of each leaf is a flattened white sheath that grows out of a basal disc. From the underside of the disc, a bundle of fibrous roots extends for a short way into the soil; as the onion matures, food reserves begin to accumulate in the leaf bases and the bulb of the onion swells. In the autumn, the leaves die back and the outer scales of the bulb become dry and brittle, so the crop is normally harvested. If left in the soil over winter, the growing point in the middle of the bulb begins to develop in the spring. New leaves appear and a long, hollow stem expands, topped by a bract protecting a developing inflorescence; the inflorescence takes the form of a globular umbel of white flowers with parts in sixes.
The seeds are glossy triangular in cross section. The average pH of an onion is around 5.5 Because the wild onion is extinct and ancient records of using onions span western and eastern Asia, the geographic origin of the onion is uncertain, with domestication worldwide. Food uses of onions date back thousands of years in China and Persia. Traces of onions recovered from Bronze Age settlements in China suggest that onions were used as far back as 5000 BCE, not only for their flavour, but the bulb's durability in storage and transport. Ancient Egyptians revered the onion bulb, viewing its spherical shape and concentric rings as symbols of eternal life. Onions were used in Egyptian burials, as evidenced by onion traces found in the eye sockets of Ramesses IV. Pliny the Elder of the first century CE wrote about the use of onions and cabbage in Pompeii, he documented Roman beliefs about the onion's ability to improve ocular ailments, aid in sleep, heal everything from oral sores and toothaches to dog bites and dysentery.
Celery is a marshland plant in the family Apiaceae, cultivated as a vegetable since antiquity. Celery has a long fibrous stalk tapering into leaves. Depending on location and cultivar, either its stalks, leaves, or hypocotyl are eaten and used in cooking. Celery seed is used as a spice and its extracts have been used in herbal medicine. Celery leaves are pinnate to bipinnate with rhombic leaflets 3–6 cm long and 2–4 cm broad; the flowers are creamy-white, 2–3 mm in diameter, are produced in dense compound umbels. The seeds are broad ovoid to globose, 1.5 -- 2 mm wide. Modern cultivars have been selected for leaf stalks. A celery stalk separates into "strings" which are bundles of angular collenchyma cells exterior to the vascular bundles. Wild celery, Apium graveolens var. graveolens, grows to 1 m tall. It occurs around the globe; the first cultivation is thought to have happened in the Mediterranean region, where the natural habitats were salty and wet, or marshy soils near the coast where celery grew in agropyro-rumicion-plant communities.
North of the alps wild celery is found only in the foothill zone on soils with some salt content. It prefers nutrient rich, muddy soils, it cannot be found in Austria and is rare in Germany. First attested in English in 1664, the word "celery" derives from the French céleri, in turn from Italian seleri, the plural of selero, which comes from Late Latin selinon, the latinisation of the Ancient Greek: σέλινον, translit. Selinon, "celery"; the earliest attested form of the word is the Mycenaean Greek se-ri-no, written in Linear B syllabic script. Celery was described by Carl Linnaeus in Volume One of his Species Plantarum in 1753; the plants are raised from seed, sown either in a hot bed or in the open garden according to the season of the year, after one or two thinnings and transplantings, they are, on attaining a height of 15–20 cm, planted out in deep trenches for convenience of blanching, effected by earthing up to exclude light from the stems. In the past, celery was grown as a vegetable for winter and early spring.
By the 19th century, the season for celery had been extended, to last from the beginning of September to late in April. In North America, commercial production of celery is dominated by the cultivar called'Pascal' celery. Gardeners can grow a range of cultivars, many of which differ from the wild species in having stouter leaf stems, they are ranged under two classes and red. The stalks grow in tight, parallel bunches, are marketed fresh that way, without roots and just a little green leaf remaining; the stalks are eaten raw, or as an ingredient in salads, or as a flavoring in soups and pot roasts. In Europe, another popular variety is celeriac, Apium graveolens var. rapaceum, grown because its hypocotyl forms a large bulb, white on the inside. The bulb can be kept for months in winter and serves as a main ingredient in soup, it can be shredded and used in salads. The leaves are used as seasoning. Leaf celery is a cultivar from East Asia. Leaf celery is most the oldest cultivated form of celery. Leaf celery has characteristically thin skin stalks and a stronger taste and smell compared to other cultivars.
It is sometimes pickled as a side dish. The wild form of celery is known as "smallage", it has a furrowed stalk with wedge-shaped leaves, the whole plant having a coarse, earthy taste, a distinctive smell. The stalks are not eaten, but the leaves may be used in salads, its seeds are those sold as a spice. With cultivation and blanching, the stalks lose their acidic qualities and assume the mild, aromatic taste particular to celery as a salad plant; because wild celery is eaten, yet susceptible to the same diseases as more well-used cultivars, it is removed from fields to help prevent transmission of viruses like celery mosaic virus. Harvesting occurs; the petioles and leaves are harvested. During commercial harvesting, celery is packaged into cartons which contain between 36 and 48 stalks and weigh up to 27 kg. Under optimal conditions, celery can be stored for up to seven weeks between 0 to 2 °C. Inner stalks may continue growing if kept at temperatures above 0 °C. Shelf life can be extended by packaging celery in micro-perforated shrink wrap.
Freshly cut petioles of celery are prone to decay, which can be prevented or reduced through the use of sharp blades during processing, gentle handling, proper sanitation. Celery stalk may be preserved through pickling by first removing the leaves boiling the stalks in water before adding vinegar and vegetable oil. In the past, restaurants used to store celery in a container of water with powdered vegetable preservative, but it was found that the sulfites in the preservative caused allergic reactions in some people. In 1986, the U. S. Food and Drug Administration banned the use of sulfites on fruits and vegetables intended to be eaten ra
Pork rind is the culinary term for the skin of a pig. It can be used in many different ways, it can be fried or roasted in pork fat to produce the snack called pork rinds in American English and pork greaves, pork scratchings, or pork cracklings in the UK. The frying renders much of the fat attached to the uncooked rind, causing the size of the cooked product to be reduced considerably. A byproduct of the rendering of lard, it is a way of making the tough skin of a pig edible. In many ancient cultures, animal fats were the only way of obtaining oil for cooking and they were common in many people's diets until the industrial revolution made vegetable oils more common and more affordable. Microwaveable pork rinds are sold in bags that resemble microwaveable popcorn and can be eaten still warm. Pickled pork rinds, are enjoyed refrigerated and cold. Unlike the crisp and fluffy texture of fried pork rinds, pickled pork rinds are rich and buttery, much like foie gras. For the large-scale production of commercial pork rinds, dried pork skin pellets are used.
They are first rehydrated in water with added flavoring, fried in pork fat at 200–210 °C. Cooking makes the rinds float on the oil surface; the rinds are removed from the fat and air dried. Antioxidants may be added to improve stability. Like many snack foods, pork rinds can be high in fat. According to Men's Health, a one-ounce serving contains nine times the protein and less fat than is found in a serving of potato chips, which are much higher in carbohydrates, they add that 43% of pork rind's fat is unsaturated, most of, oleic acid, the same healthy fat found in olive oil. Another 13% of its fat content is stearic acid, a type of saturated fat, considered harmless because it does not raise cholesterol levels. A 60 g serving of pork rind contains 29 g of 375 kcal and 0.65 g of sodium. However, pork rinds are considered an incomplete source of protein because they contain low amounts of some essential amino acids, including methionine and histidine. Torresmo known as toicinho de porco, is a popular bar snack in Brazil served in bite-sized chunks.
It is a common accompaniment to typical dishes such as feijoada and virado. Chicharrones is the term for pork rinds in Colombia. Two kinds of chicharrón exist: chicharrón toteado, which has no meat in it and is similar to the lighter, commercial version, chicharrón cocho, made with part of the pork meat attached to the skin; this makes for a soft, juicy meat. It is traditionally served with beans, fried eggs and plantain in a typical plate called bandeja paisa. Scrunchions is a Newfoundland term for small pieces of pork rind or pork fatback fried until rendered and crispy, they are used as a flavoring over other foods, such as salt fish and potatoes, used as a condiment for fish and brewis. In Quebec, they are called oreilles de Christ and are eaten exclusively as part of traditional cabane à sucre meals. Chicharrones are served in homes or snack in bars and restaurants, little sodas adds in their menu Vigoron or empanadas with chicharrones and famous snack dish called chifrijo. Preparation could change from using pig fat as base and frying, but many prefer using a wok-like pot and wood-fire cooking.
Mexico is one of the world's largest producers and consumers of pork rinds, known as chicharrón or chicharra. It may still have fat attached, called in Spanish chicharrón con gordo in central México, it is served in homes across Mexico. It can be served in a soup sometimes called chicharrón con salsa de chicharrón, it is served as an appetizer, or offered as snack at family reunions. However, chicharrones can be purchased on the street and are eaten with hot sauce and lime juice. One popular breakfast is salsa de chicharron, cooked in green tomato or tomato salsa spiced with epazote. If liquid is drained, the pork rind can be used in tacos, either as fast-food products or kitchen made; the dryness in pork rind pairs with humidity and softness in pico de gallo and both fill a corn tortilla as taco. A byproduct in frying rinds is the decanted residues in fryer called asiento or boronas; the process requires uniformly cooking rinds, while the product dehydrates, it cracks, losing small pieces, which are collected afterwards and become a thick, fatty salsa, that can be mixed as an ingredient in other salsa de chicharrón recipes or used for its flavor and fat in pan frying.
A second byproduct in frying rinds is lard. Cueritos are the same as pork rinds, but are soft and translucent, as they are not cooked unlike the chicharrón, crispy, they are available in Mexico as antojo and sold on the streets by butchers, oftentimes served fresh, but one can find them marinated with vinegar and onion at tienditas, popular convenience stores where the clerk is the owner. If marinated, they are served with lemon and salt, powdered chili and with salsa Valentina. Another vatiety is duritos called chicharrones de harina; these are similar to traditional chicharrones, only made with fried flour leavened with baking s
Rice is the seed of the grass species Oryza sativa or Oryza glaberrima. As a cereal grain, it is the most consumed staple food for a large part of the world's human population in Asia, it is the agricultural commodity with the third-highest worldwide production, after sugarcane and maize. Since sizable portions of sugarcane and maize crops are used for purposes other than human consumption, rice is the most important grain with regard to human nutrition and caloric intake, providing more than one-fifth of the calories consumed worldwide by humans. There are many varieties of rice and culinary preferences tend to vary regionally. Rice, a monocot, is grown as an annual plant, although in tropical areas it can survive as a perennial and can produce a ratoon crop for up to 30 years. Rice cultivation is well-suited to countries and regions with low labor costs and high rainfall, as it is labor-intensive to cultivate and requires ample water. However, rice can be grown anywhere on a steep hill or mountain area with the use of water-controlling terrace systems.
Although its parent species are native to Asia and certain parts of Africa, centuries of trade and exportation have made it commonplace in many cultures worldwide. The traditional method for cultivating rice is flooding the fields while, or after, setting the young seedlings; this simple method requires sound planning and servicing of the water damming and channeling, but reduces the growth of less robust weed and pest plants that have no submerged growth state, deters vermin. While flooding is not mandatory for the cultivation of rice, all other methods of irrigation require higher effort in weed and pest control during growth periods and a different approach for fertilizing the soil; the name wild rice is used for species of the genera Zizania and Porteresia, both wild and domesticated, although the term may be used for primitive or uncultivated varieties of Oryza. First used in English in the middle of the 13th century, the word "rice" derives from the Old French ris, which comes from the Italian riso, in turn from the Latin oriza, which derives from the Greek ὄρυζα.
The Greek word is the source of all European words. The origin of the Greek word is unclear, it is sometimes held to be from the Tamil word, or rather Old Tamil arici. However, Krishnamurti disagrees with the notion that Old Tamil arici is the source of the Greek term, proposes that it was borrowed from descendants of Proto-Dravidian *wariñci instead. Mayrhofer suggests that the immediate source of the Greek word is to be sought in Old Iranian words of the types *vrīz- or *vrinj-, but these are traced back to Indo-Aryan. P. T. Srinivasa Iyengar assumed that the Sanskrit vrīhí- is derived from the Tamil arici, while Ferdinand Kittel derived it from the Dravidian root variki; the rice plant can grow to 1–1.8 m tall more depending on the variety and soil fertility. It has long, slender leaves 50–100 cm long and 2–2.5 cm broad. The small wind-pollinated flowers are produced in a branched arching to pendulous inflorescence 30–50 cm long; the edible seed is a grain 5–12 mm long and 2–3 mm thick. The varieties of rice are classified as long-, medium-, short-grained.
The grains of long-grain rice tend to remain intact after cooking. Medium-grain rice is used for sweet dishes, for risotto in Italy, many rice dishes, such as arròs negre, in Spain; some varieties of long-grain rice that are high in amylopectin, known as Thai Sticky rice, are steamed. A stickier medium-grain rice is used for sushi. Medium-grain rice is used extensively in Japan, including to accompany savoury dishes, where it is served plain in a separate dish. Short-grain rice is used for rice pudding. Instant rice differs from parboiled rice in that it is cooked and dried, though there is a significant degradation in taste and texture. Rice flour and starch are used in batters and breadings to increase crispiness. Rice is rinsed before cooking to remove excess starch. Rice produced in the US is fortified with vitamins and minerals, rinsing will result in a loss of nutrients. Rice may be rinsed until the rinse water is clear to improve the texture and taste. Rice may be soaked to decrease cooking time, conserve fuel, minimize exposure to high temperature, reduce stickiness.
For some varieties, soaking improves the texture of the cooked rice by increasing expansion of the grains. Rice may be soaked for 30 minutes up to several hours. Brown rice may be soaked in warm water for 20 hours to stimulate germination; this process, called germinated brown rice, activates enzymes and enhances amino acids including gamma-aminobutyric acid to improve the nutritional value of brown rice. This method is a result of research carried out for the United Nations International Year of Rice. Rice is cooked by boiling or steaming, absorbs water during cooking. With the absorption method, rice may be cooked in a volume of water equal to the volume of dry rice- plus any evaporation losses. With the rapid-boil method, rice may be cooked in a large quantity of water, drained before serving. Rapid-boil preparation is not desirable with enriched rice, as much of the enrichment additives are l
Crayfish as food
Crayfish are eaten all over the world. Like other edible crustaceans, only a small portion of the body of a crayfish is edible. In most prepared dishes, such as soups, bisques and étouffées, only the tail portion is served. At crawfish boils or other meals where the entire body of the crayfish is presented, other portions, such as the claw meat, may be eaten. Claws of larger boiled specimens are pulled apart to access the meat inside. Another favourite is to suck the head of the crayfish, as seasoning and flavour can collect in the fat of the boiled interior. Like all crustaceans, crawfish are not kosher because they are aquatic animals that do not have both fins and scales, they are therefore not eaten by observant Jews. During the Middle Ages in Scandinavia, "crayfish were counted among the insects, that sort of animal nobody would put away in the mouth". Australia is home to genus Cherax, distinct from European and North and South American species. Two of the Australian edible crayfish are the red claw.
The common yabby is closest in size to the North American species, but is not considered to be commercially viable outside Australia because of its slow growth and small size. The "red claw" crayfish are twice the size of North American crayfish and they contain 30% edible "meat" compared to 15% for P. clarkii. Other Australian species are rare and thus are not used for food, their slow growth makes them inefficient for aquaculture. The culinary popularity of crayfish swept across mainland China in the late 1990s. Crayfish is served with Mala flavour or otherwise plainly steamed whole, to be eaten with a preferred sauce. In Beijing, the ma la flavoured crayfish is shortened to "ma xiao" and is enjoyed with beer in a hot mid-summer evening. In France, dishes with a base or garnish of crayfish are described as à la Nantuaise. Crayfish tails and butter are used to flavor the Nantua Sauce served with Quenelles. Crayfish and fried eggs are the common garnish for chicken Marengo, although they are omitted today.
The Mexican crayfish locally named acocil was a important nutrition source of the ancient Mexican Aztec culture. Other regional names for crayfish are chacales and langostinos. Today, crayfish is consumed boiled to crayfish dishes in other parts of the world, or prepared with Mexican sauces and condiments in central and southern Mexico. Traditional preparations include tacos and "cocktails" similar to shrimp dishes. Crayfish are smoked, sun-dried, they form an indispensable food item in the diet of the people of the entire southern states in particular and Nigeria as a whole, it is a core of Nigerian cooking. In Russia and Ukraine, crayfish are a traditional seasonal appetizer, used as an accompaniment to beer and liquor. Although native varieties tend to be larger, rampant freshwater pollution and years of overfishing limit availability to imports—most from Armenia and China. Prior to cooking, the crustaceans are soaked in water or milk boiled live for 7–15 minutes in boiling salted water with additional ingredients, such as carrots, dill, bay leaf, peppercorns.
More extravagant preparations include such ingredients as white wine, sour cream, caraway seed, coriander seed, chili peppers, stinging nettle, etc. Russians incorporate crayfish into complex dishes and, unlike other cultures, they consume the entire crayfish, short of the shell and the antennae. Russian and Ukrainian fascination with crayfish generates considerable lore. An old proverb: "When there is no fish crayfish is a fish." There are as many myth associated with picking the freshest live crayfish as there are for picking ripe watermelons. Russians and Ukrainians will not cook fresh crayfish if the crustaceans are dead or perceptibly lethargic. Crayfish is a popular dish in Sweden and Finland, is by tradition consumed at a crayfish party, called kräftskiva, during the fishing season in August; the boil is flavored with salt, sugar and large quantities of stems and flowers of the dill plant. While most Americans eat them warm, the Swedes and Finns eat them cold. One traditional Swedish and Finnish practice is to eat crayfish with a akvavit chaser.
The catch of domestic freshwater crayfish, Astacus astacus, of a transplanted American species, Pacifastacus leniusculus, is limited, to satisfy demand, the majority of what is consumed has to be imported. Sales depended on imports from Spain and Turkey for several decades, but after a decline in supply and the United States are today the biggest sources of import. In Spain, crayfish is called cangrejo de río, they used to be consumed in Castile and León and Aragon, but over-fishing and the introduction of non-native crayfish species led to a dramatic decline in crayfish population. Nowadays they remain as a seasonal delicacy stewed in tomato sauce, although fishing the native crayfish is forbidden since the species is nearly extinct. Instead of the native crayfish, it is common to fish Procambarus clarkii or Pacifastacus leniusculus present in most of the Spanish rivers. In the United States, crayfish are referred to as crawfish or crawdads; as of 2005, Louisiana supplied 95% of the cray
Seafood boil is the generic term for any number of types of social events in which shellfish, whether saltwater or freshwater, is the central element. Regional variations dictate the kinds of seafood, the accompaniments and side dishes, the preparation techniques. In some cases, a boil may be sponsored by a community organization as a mixer. In this way, seafood boils are like barbecue, or church potluck supper. Boils are held by individuals for their friends and family for a weekend get-together and on the holidays of Memorial Day and Independence Day. While boils and bakes are traditionally associated with coastal regions of the United States, there are exceptions. Shrimp and crawfish boils are a Louisiana Cajun tradition and can be found across Louisiana and can now be found along the Gulf South, but it is the more popular crawfish boil, most associated with Louisiana. The Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival in Louisiana has been named one of the top 10 food events by USA Today and is a showcase for Cajun music and culture.
Major crawfish boils are held by churches and other organizations as fundraisers throughout the spring. Tulane University holds an annual "Crawfest" in April, the University of New Orleans holds an annual crawfish boil for all students at the end of the spring semester. Smaller events can be found in backyards and parks throughout April and June. Locals traditionally eat crawfish, as well as crabs, without tools such as shell picks. One reason for the popularity of crawfish may be price. During the height of the season the price may be less than a $1.50/pound retail for live crawfish with crawfish prices being around $.99/pound. Shrimp and crab are higher valued cash crops, can be a less affordable option for larger groups. A boil is done in a large pot fitted with a strainer and heated by propane. However, some traditionalists make use of a net or a wire mesh scoop. Seasonings include crab boil packets, cayenne pepper, hot sauce, salt and bay leaf. Ears of corn, new potatoes and heads of garlic are included in shrimp and crawfish boils.
Some people will add smoked sausage mushrooms. When cooking crawfish there is a debate over whether or not the crawfish must first be purged by covering them with clear water and a generous amount of salt for a few minutes. Advocates argue. Others argue that it is an unnecessary step. A "Boil Master" is in charge of making sure the ingredients go into the pot in the proper sequence and controls the timing of the steps. There is no right or wrong when seasoning a crawfish boil and many experienced boilers go by feel although there are some guidelines to follow and a great deal of opinions on how a boiled crawfish should be seasoned. Many recipes call for a short boil followed by a period of soaking with the heat turned off; the contents of the pot are removed and dumped onto a newspaper covered table. Sometimes, crawfish may be dumped into the traditional watercraft in which crawfishermen have used to traverse the bayous and swamps. Bottles of hot sauce and melted butter are available, along with cocktail sauce at a shrimp boil.
Some families like to use a mixture of both. Howard Mitcham and his Guild of Chimney Sweepers hosted a shrimp boil every year for French Quarter bohemians during the 1950s and 1960s, he notes, "At our last big party we boiled 400 pounds of shrimp and 400 fat crabs for 200 guests and we drank eight thirty-gallon kegs of beer. For music we had Kid Thomas and his Algiers Stompers, the famous old gut-bucket jazz group from Preservation Hall, the Olympia Funeral Marching Band"; the Chimney Sweepers technique was to use new thirty-gallon galvanized garbage cans, filled one third full of water and brought to a boil with seasonings. The shrimp were stuffed into new pillow cases and tied off. Twenty-five pounds of shrimp took about 25 minutes to cook. One batch came out and the next went in. There are two kinds of social gatherings in coastal Georgia and South Carolina that revolve around shellfish. One is much like a Louisiana boil involving shrimp, corn on the cob and red potatoes, sometimes ham, is considered part of Lowcountry cuisine.
Known variously as Frogmore Stew, Beaufort Stew, a Beaufort boil, a Lowcountry boil, or a tidewater boil, they tend to be a bit milder than their Louisiana cousins. For example, it is not unusual for a Lowcountry recipe to call for a mixture of hot and mild boil seasonings, whereas a Louisiana recipe may start with crab boil packets and add large amounts of cayenne pepper. While shrimp are most used, crabs or crawfish may be included if available; this is a bit different from a Louisiana boil, which involves just one kind of shellfish at a time. Frogmore is the name of a community in the middle of St. Helena Island, near Beaufort, South Carolina. Although there are many versions of this dish around, the name Frogmore Stew was coined in the 1960s by Richard Gay, one of the owners of Gay Fish Company, circa 1948, on St. Helena Island. Frogmore Stew became far better-known after it was featured on the cover of Gourmet Magazine in the 1980s, is enjoyed by all, with this name, to this day. In 2005, The Travel Channel featured Richard's brother, Charles Gay, cooking Frogmore Stew in its popular program Taste of America with Mark DeCarlo.