Nationwide — Meet Darren Campbell, the founder and CEO of Palmetto Blend, a Black-owned soul food seasoning product that offers an authentic taste to food with no artificial preservatives. He is also the author of Gullah Recipes, a 42-page cookbook filled with traditional, flavorful Gullah recipes created by real Gullah people from Charleston, South Carolina and Edisto Island.
The cookbook will allow readers to not only savor many of the same dishes that have been handed down for generations but also read the true stories and see beautiful illustrations that tell the tale of Gullah culture.
The History and Culture of the Gullah People
As early as 1690, the Gullah People from coastal West Africa were cultivating rice in fields of Charleston, SC. They have managed to keep many aspects of their cultural heritage alive today, which is evident in their dialect, the practice of making sweetgrass baskets, quilting, and knitting fishing nets, and, of course, through their food.
Peanuts, okra, rice, yams, peas, hot peppers, sesame seeds, sorghum, and watermelon are just a few of the foods brought across the sea to America by the Gullah’s enslaved ancestors.
The Gullah People cooked with everything they grew and brought over from Africa, and whatever they cooked, you could almost guarantee that it was seasoned to perfection. This seasoning may be difficult to replicate, but Palmetto Blend and Gullah Recipes are dedicated to creating products and programs directly from the Gullah community.
The Recipes in the Book
The recipes highlighted in the Gullah Recipes cookbook emphasize Charleston’s beloved fresh seafood in recipes such as shrimp and grits. It also features a wide variety of sweet delights like sweet potato pie. But it doesn’t stop there– you can also learn how to cook and enjoy traditional Sunday dinner favorites such as collard greens, fried chicken, and mac and cheese.
Chef Darren comments, “Charleston’s Gullah Recipes was born of the desire that the local vendors had for authentic Gullah cookbooks.”
This desire is close to his heart as he has been cooking delicious meals for over two decades. He is well known across The Lowcountry for the delicious rice dishes he makes during family gatherings.
He says, “Growing up in Charleston has allowed me the chance to enjoy real Gullah and southern dishes.”
A Seasoning Product to Complement the Book
Palmetto Blend, which is Chef Darren’s soul food seasoning product, offers an authentic taste to food with no artificial preservatives. It is made 100% natural and is also kosher, gluten-free, and contains no MSG, no allergens, and no anti-caking agents. It also contains less sodium than other major brands.
The product is a premium seasoning mix that combines the perfect measurements of seven all-natural spices designed to bring out rich flavors in everything you cook. He comments, “Whether it is seafood, meats, or vegetables, your taste buds will be dazzled by the flavors that my seasoning mix unleashes in your foods.” Darren acquired the inspiration for this spice growing up eating in his grandmother’s kitchen.
For more details about the cookbook or Palmetto Blend, visit PalmettoBlend.com
The seasoning product is also available at more than 40 vendors in and around Charleston, SC. The full list of vendor partners can be viewed on the company website.
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