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THE NIBBLE’s Gourmet News & Views

Trends, Products & Items Of Note In The World Of Specialty Foods

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PRODUCT REVIEW: Charleston Favorites Tidewater Shrimp Sauce & Marinade With Stone Ground Grits

A portfolio of Charleston and lowcountry specialties aims to ensure that people everywhere can enjoy “Food For The Southern Soul.” The first two products we tried, Stone Ground Grits and Tidewater Shrimp Sauce And Marinade, made an excellent (and easy!) dinner that we can’t wait to have again…and again.

Charleston Favorites is another happy example of a businessperson from a “traditional” sector of industry who followed his love into the food business. Proprietor Jimmy Hagood began in insurance sales, and now owns a thriving catering business in Charleston, as well as a manufacturing company that sells Southern specialties throughout the United States. Delicacies such as benne wafers, peach butter, pepper jelly and, of course, barbecue sauces and rubs are just part of a line that sends a taste of the South anywhere.

A dinner of lowcountry shrimp and grits couldn’t be easier with Food For The Soul.
Years ago, Hagood, a barbecue hobbyist, traded in his briefcase for an apron and began a pit barbecue catering company. In his new food career, he noticed small local specialty food companies that produced terrific products, but faced challenges of survival. He began to buy them up to provide economies of scale in production and distribution. Today, his company, Specialty Food South LLC, includes brands such as Charleston Favorites that specialize in the foods of Charleston and the South Carolina lowcountry. If our first taste is an example of the entire portfolio, we can’t wait to order the rest of the line.

A charming gift box arrived containing a two-pound bag of Charleston Favorites Stone Ground Grits and an 18-ounce bottle of Tidewater Shrimp Sauce and Marinade. The grits take about 35 minutes to cook; we sautéed the shrimp in about three minutes. The results were one of the best meals we’ve had in a long time—perhaps because, as New Yorkers, we don’t get too much lowcountry cuisine. We added a large green salad, but the oohs and aahs were earned by the grits and shrimp.

Not only would we gladly cook this dinner on a regular basis; we’d send it as a gift to almost everyone, because it requires minimal cooking skills. If you can make hot cereal, you can make grits. If you can pour the contents of a bottle into a sauté pan, add peeled shrimp and stir, you can have delectable Tidewater shrimp. Read the full review on

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