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Luke’s Top Shop Picks for 2022

Archaeology, Luke Pecoraro, Shop at Drayton Hall

We asked Luke, Director of Archaeology at Drayton Hall for his favorite shop gifts! Read below for his favorites!

One of my favorite offerings carried by the shop are the books on food history and the cookbooks. In the rich archaeological record of Drayton Hall, we have a vast collection of artifacts that speak to the dining and diet of the Draytons and the enslaved population over time. A great entry point to learn more about the dynamic culture and evolution of food in the American South is Michael Twitty’s The Cooking Gene. Twitty’s approachable writing style and his experiences using traditional cooking methods pair well with products offered by the Marsh Hen Mill on nearby Edisto Island. Try the Sea Island Red Peas and the Heirloom Black-Eyed Peas; these are staple bases in some of the dishes Twitty describes.

Conducting archaeology at Drayton Hall and getting into the documentary resources related to the experiences of the Draytons and others who settled in South Carolina during the 17th and 18th c. opens up a lot of questions in terms of what the environment looked like, and what makes the state unique. Charles Drayton 1 took an active interest in botany and horticulture, and a great entry point into learning more about the diversity of what grows in South Carolina can be found in The Guide to the Wildflowers of South Carolina. This nicely illustrated volume is a must for plant identification, but it also gives a lot of detail in historical origins and uses of the plants, too.