The first version of CAROLINA HASH was missing an important and historical part of the story - the origins of the mustard hash in the central midlands-to-Lowcountry region of South Carolina. With the help of community scholar and restaurant owner, Rodney Long, the filmmaker documents the historical imprint by German immigrants brought to Charleston, SC to handle heavy labor on the docks during settlement. Being of hearty stock, they were the ethnic group chosen to send up the main rivers into the Carolina back-country to settle the "Cherokee territory". There they established small farms and villages in what is now known as the Dutch Fork community near Columbia, the state Capitol. With these German settlers came a flavoring condiment that was essential to Germanic cuisine ... MUSTARD!
CAROLINA HASH starts with establishing as fact the myth that hash-popularity ends at the South Carolina borders. We learn that right across the state line in North Carolina, barbecue customers and restauranteurs "....don’t even know what hash is." The Brunswick stew states of North Carolina and Georgia which border South Carolina for the most part don’t know about it. But the tradition runs deep in all of South Carolina, and most native South Carolinians not only know about it - they can tell you where to go "....to get the best hash in South Carolina!" and the name of the hash-master.
The true origins of CAROLINA HASH can be traced to the Carolina rice kitchens on plantations where black food artisans were required to make the most of the lesser parts of the hog at slaughter. They created a high-protein, thick “meat-gravy” flavored with hot spices familiar to their palate ladled over rice to provide energy for the rigorous labor required in working the rice fields.
Today in the Upcountry from border-to-border you will find a beef-based hash with a twang that’s different from the pork hash found with their different sauces based on the region of the State. These traditions, in many restaurants and in the hash houses on many farms or churchyards or Volunteer Fire Departments, have been "Grandfathered-in", using black iron kettles in which many decades of hash traditions by local hash-masters occur. But as the documentary shows as it pursues the mission of folk heritage preservation, these traditions are rapidly disappearing.
This documentary tells the story of the SC hash tradition in hopes that a new generation of South Carolinians who did not originate from here will come to appreciate the uniqueness and artisanship that is in CAROLINA HASH.