Your Savannah Food Scene Questions, Answered

Savannah Food

Last month, we had a giveaway to our newsletter subscribers for a signed copy of our new book, Savannah Food: A Delicious History. To enter, fans had to ask us a question about Savannah’s food scene, and we loved reading all the questions as they came in. We answered a few of our favorites in this video, and you’ll find answers to 7 more fan questions below–some answered with text directly taken from our book.

I love Savannah and the variety of food found there! When did the food scene become popular in Savannah?

“Savannah’s culinary revolution is upon us, finally attracting world-class chefs and the recognition the city deserves.” –pg. 9, Savannah Food

Did shrimp and grits originate in Savannah?

“Shrimp as a topping to grits is thought to related directly to the fishermen and shrimpers of Georgia and South Carolina. There are some references to “shrimpers grits,” which describe fishermen adding shrimp to their breakfast porridge, as there were few other available ingredients to add to a bowl of grits while out to sea. Regardless, as just about every protein has been added to grits at one point or another, it was only a matter of time before the Lowcountry latched on to this dish, one now served at any time of day.” –pg. 60, Savannah Food

What is the oldest restaurant in Savannah?

The Pirate’s House. “In 1753, a restaurant was born and has remained such ever since…the truth is that the restaurant is the oldest in Georgia.” –pg. 21, Savannah Food

Is there any place in town to get an authentic low country boil?

Downtown, check out Savannah Seafood Shack–their lunch portion is only $8.50. But if you want to dine outdoors as low country boils most often take place, head to Crab Shack near Tybee Island.

What makes southern made grits distinctively southern?

Grits originated in the South since corn was plentiful, so technically any grits could be called Southern grits. However, many Savannahians would argue that Southern grits should be topped with shrimp, which is the most popular way you’ll see grits served in Savannah.

How popular is the Vegan/Vegetarian movement in Savannah?

The vegetarian movement has not quite caught fire in Savannah, but you can find plenty of restaurants in Savannah that offer vegetarian dishes or are happy to prepare some items vegan. Kayak Kafe, Sentient Bean, and B. Matthews are all solid options for vegetarians.

What’s a good benne seed cookie recipe?

This recipe derives comes from Juliette Gordon Low’s family. Juliette was the founder of Girl Scouts, which she started here in Savannah.

Benne Wafers

3/4 cup butter, softened

1 1/2 cups brown sugar

2 eggs

1 1/4 cups flour

1/4 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 cup benne (sesame) seeds

1) Place the seeds in a frying pan over medium heat. Stirring constantly, toast them until they turn golden brown. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

2) Preheat the oven to 350. Cream together the butter and sugar. Add eggs and beat well. Sift in the flour and baking powder and mix well. Finally, stir in the vanilla and the toasted seeds.

3) Drop by teaspoonful on cookie sheets lined with Silpat or waxed paper. Bake 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven. If using wax paper, slide the whole sheet onto the cooling rack, and peel the cookies off when cool. With Silpat, just let them cool for about 2 minutes then you can carefully remove them with a spatula and continue cooling on a cooling rack.

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