What's Your Earliest Childhood Food Memory?
Chairman of the
Board of Directors
Having Sunday lunch at my grandmother’s house in Pendleton. My grandfather was a retired microbiologist from Clemson. He had a beautiful garden, and those meals were where I learned about fresh-from-the-garden flavor and attention to detail. I think that’s where my love of food came from. It was the only meal of the week that was too special for paper napkins.
Margie Levine and Holly Welch
Co-owners, Crescent Farm, Clinton
Margie: For me it was eating tomatoes out in the garden with my father and my uncle.
Holly: Cucumber sandwiches, with the cucumbers falling out the side of the bread. Just cucumbers and mayo, a little salt. I haven’t had that in a long time.
Co-owner, Heavenly Seed, Anderson
Turnip soup with little cornbread dumplings. Mostly turnips, very little greens. Cut them up and boil them, which makes for a thick soup, almost like mashed potatoes. My mom would make turnip soup with hushpuppies about the size of a quarter. I grew up in Bishopville, and that’s something I’ve never had anywhere else. It really was good.
Owner, Oil and Vinegar, Greenville
Eating off my grandmother’s plate. My grandmother lived with us. Somehow the same food tasted better off her plate than mine. We used to make a South Indian curry with peas and coconut. She would make it because she knew it was my favorite. Even as an adult, she would give me the first bite from her plate.
Theresa and Redd Blandin
Founders, ReddTree Produce, Greenville
Theresa: When I was a kid in my parents garden, going out and picking fresh cucumbers and tomatoes. My dad had a salt shaker in his pocket, and we ate right off the vine.
Redd: Mine was a broccoli casserole. I can remember the lady, Mrs. Brocklin. And you know it’s hard to get a kid to eat anything green. She said “Here honey I’m going to make a broccoli casserole and you need to try it.” Once I did, I was hooked.
County Agent in Agriculture for Greenville County
It’s when my dad gave me a basket and told me to run out to the peanut field and pick me some peanuts. And I ran out there so excited and said, “Somebody picked all the peanuts. They’re gone!” That’s truly my first memory of food. I wasn’t knee high.
Farmer, Beechwood Farms, Marietta
Eating oysters. My dad got a big burlap bag of oysters, and I remember sitting in the garage with him and eating them. Oysters, and frog legs. His dad was a Church of God preacher, and I think it was just being a preacher’s son and rebellion that made him want to eat strange things. My youngest son takes after him.
Co-founder, Due South Coffee Roasters, Taylors
Nanna makes these rolls. It’s her own recipe, and I’ve never tasted anything like them. Every time she makes them, I’m back in her kitchen. I can see what’s on her walls, her shy cat behind the recliner.