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Old 07-07-2006, 07:48 PM
1 posts, read 71,007 times
Reputation: 18


We just returned home from a few days in Myrtle Beach. My daughter-in-law
was inquiring why so many of the restaurants were called calabash. We
didn't know but thought maybe it was a specific way the food was
prepared. I looked it up in the dictionary just now and all I could find
was the reference to the calabash tree or gourd. How does this word
relate to food?

Thanking you ahead of time for your replies.
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Old 07-07-2006, 08:01 PM
Location: Blue Ridge Mtns of NC
5,661 posts, read 24,666,432 times
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Calabash, NC was named after gourds that grew in the region, which were used for drinking. Since the 1930s, Calabash has been known for its distinctive style of fried seafood, which has come to be known as "calabash style." The town has many seafood restaurants and is often referred to as the "Seafood Capital of the World."

Calabash style buffets are also in many southeastern coastal towns. Myrtle Beach, SC is home to a great majority of these restaurants as the city is very close to Calabash, NC.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/4/46/NCMap-doton-Calabash.PNG (broken link)

Last edited by mm34b; 07-07-2006 at 08:04 PM..
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Old 07-07-2006, 08:03 PM
Location: East Texas
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Calabash seafood typically refer to seafood that is lightly breaded (usually dipped in milk & then a combo of flour & cornmeal) and then fried. Usually in a calabash-style restaurant you will get huge portions, oftentimes with a combination plate of several types of seafood - shrimp, various kinds of fish, crab, oysters, etc.. and hushpuppies.

Good calabash seafood is very good, freshly prepared with a very light touch. Bad calabash is horrid! Sometimes seafood buffets will refer to themselves as calabash-style, but they are stretching the definition....
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Old 06-25-2015, 07:28 AM
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Thumbs up Thanks

Thanks! I had Calabash Shrimp this week and wondering what that meant. The shrimp was just as you described, very light. I loved it.
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Old 06-25-2015, 08:31 AM
Location: Chapelboro
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Here's the long version. Well worth a read: Our State: Calabash
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Old 06-26-2015, 03:44 AM
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The food is the core of Calabash style seafood and has remained fairly consistent for as long as I remember. However, the atmosphere has been modernized a bit.

I grew up in NC and ate Calabash style seafood all over the state in the 50's and 60's. Most all restaurants would serve mounds of fresh, lightly bread, deep fried seafood on paper plates, plastic utensils and at times on long picnic tables covered in brown paper. Florescent lamps or bare light bulbs often lit the dining area. They were filled with noisy, friendly people that mostly knew each other. The food was, hot, plentiful and good. Many times these places would only open on Wednesday night and Sunday afternoon after church. Many times they would be outside of town on a country road with gravel parking lots. All would include "Calabash" in their name.

If you go to Calabash now the restaurants are slick, new, modern buildings. The food is the same, the prices are higher and the atmosphere is no doubt different.

Its still mighty good eatin' though.
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