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“H” is for Hash

“H” is for Hash. Hearty meals have been cooked in large, cast-iron pots since the Middle Ages. Variations are endless. In South Carolina, hash takes the place of honor held by Brunswick stew in other southern states. Usually served over rice, hash is more than a mere accompaniment to barbecue and maintains an important role as a congregational food. Hash is a community-based tradition, cooked in big pots for large numbers of people. As is other southern stews, hash developed out of a need to turn leftover scraps, and whatever one could find into a palatable one-pot dish. While hash variations are countless, three loosely defined geographic regions can be identified: Lowcountry, Midlands, and Upstate. While hash might have been born out of necessity, this one-pot treasure has long since made the transition to a “comfort food.”

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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.