It is a small, savory, deep-fried ball of YUM! Hush puppies are made from a cornmeal-based batter and served as a side dish with seafood and other deep-fried foods. Hush puppies are a guest favorite and among the most ordered items at Bubba’s Fish Shack. Where do they come from? What are they made from? How did they get their name? We are going to answer those questions in this month’s blog.
The use of corn and ground corn in cooking originated with Native Americans. Corn is a little different than most plants. Unlike beans or potatoes, you won’t find corn growing in the wild. It only survives when it is planted and cultivated by humans. We can thank Native Americans from the central regions of Mexico to thank for developing the corn we know today.
Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and Seminoles are typically credited with introducing corn as a staple of southern cuisine. Cornbread became extremely popular during the American Civil War because it was inexpensive and could be made in any shape and size. For example, it can be made into a high-rising, fluffy loaf or rolled into a ball the size of a golf ball and fried for a quick option.
The name hush puppy dates at least as far back as 1899. The name has no verified origin, and its etymology is attributed to various sources. Some claim it comes from hunters and fishermen who would fry some basic cornmeal mixture and feed it to their dogs to “hush the puppies” during cookouts and fish fries. Another story says that southern wives would deep fry salamanders, often called “water puppies,” coated in cornmeal and formed into a stick to save face with their neighbors. It was said that they were called hush puppies because eating such lowly food was not something a southern woman would want her neighbors to know about. Of course, today, we know how excellent fried food can be, so whether you think it is lowly or not, we focus on how delightful it tastes.
Typical hush puppy ingredients include cornmeal, wheat flour, eggs, salt, baking soda, milk or buttermilk, and water. Sometimes you will find hush puppies with extra ingredients like onion, spring onion, garlic, whole kernel corn, or peppers. Some have swapped out the wheat flour for pancake batter. To create the hush puppy, mix your ingredients into a smooth but thick batter and drop a spoonful at a time into hot oil until fried crispy and golden brown.
At Bubba’s Fish Shack, we love hush puppies because they pair perfectly with seafood and barbecued foods, items our guests love just as much as we do! We look forward to sharing them with you!
If you are curious to find out more about what items we serve our hush puppies with, check out our menu online at www.bubbasfishshack.com
Did you know that Bubba’s Fish Shack is part of the Divine Dining Group family of restaurants? Check out our sister restaurants, view our open staff positions, and/or purchase gift cards for your next visit here: https://divinedininggroup.com/