Hushpuppy is a cornbread ball, which is prepared by frying cornbread batter in any fat or oil. These cornbread balls are popular in Southern part of United States. These fried wonders are normally served as side dish with seafood at some Southern restaurants. These bread balls are generally teamed with fried catfish. In some parts of US these cornbread balls are known as corn dodgers.
History of Hushpuppies
The birth of this fried delicacy has been traced back to the settlement of Nouvell Orleans in 1727. The Nouvell Orleans later came to be known as New Orleans, which is today in Louisiana. The hushpuppy was first cooked by group of Ursuline nuns who were of French descent. These nuns worked towards popularizing the otherwise dull cornmeal by molding it into a savory. They called it croquettes de maise. The deliciousness of these savory balls was soon appreciated by Southerners.
Following a popular legend, the croquettes de maise gained its present name due to one incident which occurred at the home of an African cook in Atlanta. It is believed that she uttered this word to calm her puppy who was continuously barking from nearby. The cook gave plateful of croquettes to the puppy and said “hushpuppy”. The name stuck on since then.
According to another legend, the dish was named so by hunters. The hunters and trappers went on for long hunting expeditions with their dogs. In the evenings, when dogs got restless, the hunters gave them greased and fried cornmeal balls to savor. They would throw these balls on dogs by commanding them to “hush up”; thus the name stuck on.
Another set of food historians say that the dish assumed name from confederate soldiers who would gather around campfire to prepare their meals. They always used hushpuppy as a code word for passing the signal that Yankee soldiers were approaching.
Hushpuppy Recipe- Suggested Ingredients
Normally cornmeal flour is used in the preparation of these bread balls. At times pancake batter is also used in the preparation of the dish. Other regular ingredients include flour, egg, salt, onions, milk, corn and peppers. These cornbread balls are also popular in neighboring Caribbean countries where cornmeal, salt and sugar are used to prepare the dish. These are originally sweeter versions of cornbread balls and enjoyed with jerked meats. The ingredients more or less remain the same in Puerto Rican cornbread balls.
Hushpuppy Recipe- Method of Preparation
The cornmeal batter is fried in oil by dropping a spoonful of it at a time. The traditional fryers are used for frying the bread balls. These balls are fried for about 5-10 minutes until they turn golden brown on both sides. They taste good when eaten hot. Also, hushpuppy can be prepared pre-hand and eaten when required by heating in an oven.