The Lowcountry is an ideal place to enjoy scrumptious food prepared with fish and shellfish, fresh from local waters. Whether you are cooking at home or dining at one of our outstanding restaurants, you will be delighted with the accessibility of fresh seafood.
The SC DNR reports that South Carolina has 344,500 acres of salt marsh, which is more than any other state on the east coast. Why is this important? It is in the Spartina grasses and pluff mud that the ecological system develops the habitat for birds and sea life. Within these marsh areas, an abundance of fish and shellfish are produced and sustained.
Locals like to think of the salt water marshes as a nursery. The rich nutrients from grasses, as they turn brown before the new spring growth, provide the plankton, an essential food for young shrimp when they begin their life in the back waters. Many other species take advantage of this plentiful food supply.
The salt marshes produce a variety of food delicacies. For example, let’s not overlook the excellent oysters to be enjoyed during the winter months. They grow along the coastline in large shell rakes that have the appearance of a mound of sand. At low tide, they are quite visible when driving over the bridges to Hilton Head. Even after completing their life cycle, the oyster shells provide a dry sanctuary for nesting birds and other wildlife.
The tiny sea life that hang onto the shells bring larger prey including fish to feed. Of course, that makes red fish and flounder, among others, readily available all year. Blue crabs cohabitate in the marsh areas and provide a delicacy frequently found on local menus. Crab stuffed mushrooms and crab fondue offer some easier options to traditionally hand picking the crabs.
If all of this makes you hungry, it is time to get started with your plans for your next visit. Remember, “Nothing could be finer than to be in Carolina” – South Carolina, that is… Hope to see you soon!