Spoon bread dates back to America’s colonial days; however, it is inconclusive whether its origin is Native American or colonial.
There is no doubt that corn, corn meal and corn bread are all of Native American origin. Early American cookbook author, Sarah Routledge, published spoon bread recipes in The Carolina Housewife in 1847. In it, she links spoon bread’s origins to Native Americans “with a traditional Carolina Low Country rendition called Awandaw,” named for a Native American settlement outside of Charleston.
Some culinary authorities maintain spoon bread can be traced back to the Indian porridge called suppone or suppawn. Others, however, say the butter, milk and eggs, which made spoon bread such a special dish, probably came after the Civil War. The controversy will likely never be settled.
Regardless of its origin, you can still enjoy this recipe for spoon bread.
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- 2 cups milk
- 3 eggs, slightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup sugar
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Butter a 2 quart casserole dish.
- While stirring, pour cornmeal into boiling water; let cook for 5 minutes. Let cool slightly.
- Stir butter into the cornmeal.
- Add eggs to the milk.
- Mix dry ingredients with milk mixture and add to the cornmeal.
- Stir until just combined.
- Pour into casserole and let bake for 35 minutes.
- Let sit for 5 minutes before serving.
Makes one loaf