Page 31 - The Carolinas Today Winter 2015
P. 31

Charleston is known for its local seafood, which plays a key role in the city's renowned 

cuisine, comprising staple dishes such as gumbo, she-crab soup, fried oysters, Lowcountry 

boil, deviled crab cakes, red rice, and shrimp and grits. Rice is the staple in many dishes, 

reflecting the rice culture of the Low Country. The cuisine in Charleston is also strongly 

influenced by British and French elements.

As it has on every aspect of Charleston culture, 
the Gullah 

community has had a tremendous influence on music in Charleston, especially 

when it comes to the early development of jazz music. In turn, the music of 

Charleston has had an influence on that of the rest of the country. The geechee 

dances that accompanied the music of the dock workers in Charleston followed 

a rhythm that inspired Eubie Blake's "Charleston Rag" and later James P. 

Johnson's "The Charleston", as well as the dance craze that defined a nation in 

the 1920s. "Ballin' the Jack", which was a popular dance in the years before "The 

Charleston", was written by native Charlestonian Chris Smith.	31

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