Benne Wafers: a crispy cookie from South Carolina, first introduced during the slave trade.

Benne Wafer (Sesame Seed Cookies) have been a South Carolina’s favorite for over a hundred years. They are light, crisp, and paper thin with a delightful nutty taste that is not too sweet. Historically, enslaved people from Africa introduced new ingredients to the American South, shaping cuisine in areas such as Low Country (the coastal area around Charleston, South Carolina) of the South. The popular sweet snack known as benne wafers are an enduring result of their culinary influence on this coastal region. It is believed that West African slaves…

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How to predict winter weather using a persimmon seed: a curious peasant legend

According to weather folklore, you can predict winter weather with a persimmon seed. The seeds of the persimmon, scientifically known as Diospyros kaki, are small grains of a few centimeters in length. If you find a locally-grown persimmon (a locally-grown persimmon is necessary because it will reflect local conditions!), all you have to do is cut open the seed and observe: inside the seed may appear the shape of a cutlery such as a fork, a knife or a spoon. According to peasant tradition, the presence of cutlery was a…

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