Hush puppies and black history.

May be an image of food
Escaping slaves used to throw balls of fried cornmeal out to distract the hounds from tracking them. The hound stopped barking and tracking thanks to the cornmeal which later adopted the name “hushpuppies”. (Photo from Sheree Williams)

Hushpuppies are a southern side dish that can be very tasty when they are made right. Hushpuppies are made from a mixture of cornmeal and flour balls of dough usually seasoned with onions and okra and sometimes other greens from the garden and then fried in oil.

By some, it is thought that hushpuppies originated in Native American cooking with maize. Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and Seminole cooks introduced corn and it became popular during the American Civil War because it was inexpensive and tasty.

But in Black History, it is believed that hush puppies were created by American slaves. As the stories go, escaping slaves concocted fried mixtures of cornmeal, milk, eggs and okra to throw at the slaveowner’s dogs to keep them quiet. Slaves would throw the cornmeal mixture at the dogs and say the command “hushpuppies” and while the dogs were quietly eating they could escape.

Hushpuppies recipe:

Ingredients

1 egg beaten

1/2 cup or so of buttermilk

1/2 cup or so of finely chopped green onions, okra, peppers, and corn if you want. (it’s your taste buds)

3/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 cup flour (self rising)

1 cup cornmeal

4 or 5 cups vegetable oil (enough to deep fry so that they don’t stick to each other)

Directions

Preheat oil to 350 °F. In a bowl, mix the milk and egg together. Stir in the onion or okra. In another bowl mix the cornmeal, flour, baking soda and salt together and then add it to the milk and egg mixture stirring until it is blended together. Drop spoonfuls of the mix into the hot oil for 2 or 3 minutes until golden brown.

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