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Rediscovering some of South Carolina's signature foods and the stories behind them

In their new book, Taste the State: South Carolina's Signature Foods, Recipes, and Their Stories (2021, USC Press), authors Kevin Mitchell and David S. Shields present the cultural histories of native ingredients and showcase the evolution of the dishes and the variety of preparations that have emerged. They talk with Walter Edgar about true Carolina cooking in all of its cultural depth, historical vividness, and sumptuous splendor—from the plain home cooking of sweet potato pone to Lady Baltimore cake worthy of a Charleston society banquet.

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Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar received his B.A. degree from Davidson College in 1965 and his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1969. After two years in the army (including a tour of duty in Vietnam), he returned to USC as a post-doctoral fellow of the National Archives, assigned to the Papers of Henry Laurens.