College of Charleston’s minor in Southern Studies goes beyond stereotypes about the region and allows students to attain a deeper understanding of its history and culture. What better way to explore the South’s cultural diversity than through its food?
That’s why professor/director of the program Julia Eichelberger invited world-renowned chef Nathalie Dupree to visit her Intro to Southern Studies class to make kitchen-table-staple biscuits. And just in time for Thanksgiving!
“In my SOST 200 class, one of the required texts is a special issue of the journal Southern Cultures called ‘The Best of Southern Food’ (taken from essays published 2008-2014),” says Eichelberger, “so I wanted the students to have an experiential learning experience.”
Dupree literally wrote the book on Southern biscuits, a scrumptious work aptly titled Southern Biscuits. A promotion for the book states, “Layered, fluffy, feathery, silky, soft, and velvety biscuits all come together in Southern Biscuits, a book of recipes and baking secrets for every biscuit imaginable.” The chef brought a few of these secrets to a recent class, where students learned to make the fluffy carbs from scratch.
Eichelberger wasn’t sure if the iconic cookbook writer would be up for visiting campus, but as soon as they found a suitable kitchen, she was onboard.
“A few students told me they were going home to practice their baking,” says Eichelberger. “I even learned new tips.”
Who’s adding biscuits to their Thanksgiving menu?
Photos by Heather Moran