This past weekend, my husband BDK and I had a fun little trip to the Boca Beach Club planned. Research for the Honey List, you know. Let’s just say it was a blast, but more on that later!
Our Southern Delicacy mini-series is taking a beach trip as well – to Charleston! I know, jealous! Our Southern Delicacy of the week is the benne wafer, and according to the Olde Colony Bakery, “the benne wafer perfectly represents the fine taste and heritage of the Charleston, South Carolina area.” Having never tasted benne wafers (shame!) I cannot concur without further research.
Benne wafer photo by She Wears Many Hats; benne wafer favor photo by Veil and Bow via Style Me Pretty
I can, however, give you a little taste (pun-intended) of what my research found! Benne wafers are unique to the Lowcountry (the region located along South Carolina’s coast), and have been around since the Colonial era. The benne (the Bantu word for sesame) wafer is a thin cookie, made of toasted sesame, and has a almond-y or peanut buttery flavor. The original recipe was brought over from East Africa in the 17th century, and wafers are still made by hand today. Not local to Charleston but still looking to get your hands on this great Southern treat? Try Olde Colony Bakery, Market Street Munchies, or Byrd Cookie Company.
An additional detail for brides? According to Bantu folklore, eating the benne wafer is said to bring good luck; I think the luck alone is a perfect reason to serve this yummy treat at a wedding! (Well that, and its fabulous Southern history!) These sweet little cookies would also be perfect as a wedding favor or tucked into a welcome bag.
Looking to try your hand at benne wafers? Discover South Carolina has the recipe for traditional preparation of this delicacy for y’all!
Have you tried benne wafers? How do they rank among fabulous Southern treats, in your opinion?
P.S. Is this making you hungry? Check out our first feature in this series – grits!