Thursday, August 6, 2009

What's a Hush Puppies

Hush puppies are finger-shaped dumplings of cornmeal that are deep-fried and traditionally served with fried catfish. Also know as corn dodgers, they are especially popular throughout the South.
There are several interesting stories of the origins of hushpuppies. My dad told this story, an African cook in Atlanta is said to have given the name hushpuppy to this food. When frying a batch of catfish and croquettes, a nearby puppy began to howl. To keep the puppy quiet, she gave it a plateful of the croquettes and said, "hush, puppy." Since the name was cute, it stuck. My husband said this is the story his dad told. This same story but it is attributed to a Creole cook. Hunters and trappers could be on the trail for days at a time. At suppertime the hunting dogs would get hungry, so the hunters would mix a batter out of cornmeal or flour and cook it in grease on the campfire. Then they would throw the fried dough to the pups, telling them to be quiet, shut up, or "hush."

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