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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!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
  1. avatar Amy reply

    Oh, I love benne wafers! Living here in Charleston they are a MUST when shopping at the Market or to have on hand for visitors. In fact, I love these little delicious treats so much, I’m planning a Benne Wafer Bar for our wedding! Southern Sisters Bakery ( sells their wafers downtown at the Market and have adapted the original recipe to include some new favorites like pecan, gingersnap and lemon cooler. Oh I’m getting a craving just thinking about them!

    • avatar Marissa reply

      Okay, a Benne Wafer Bar?! SO awesome! Thanks for sharing the Southern Sisters link, I’ll have to check out those flavors! xo, Marissa

    • avatar Lindsey reply

      Amy: I definitely think Olde Colony Bakery makes THE BEST benne wafers. They have the perfect yummy flavor and crunch every time. You can buy them all around town and on their website – They are the home to the original benne wafers although my favorite cookie of theirs is the raspberry sassy or the key lime cookies.

      We’re putting them out at my wedding along with the candy and pies from Michigan. It is good luck after all :-)

  2. avatar Barbara stevens reply

    Hope that you had a lovely birthday. I have many fond memories of the Boca Hotel and Resort. My husband and i even went to prom there many moons ago.

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