Carolina Rice: Something to Sing About

My story today on the sorry state of rice awareness among Charleston visitors has promoted a rush of reminiscences from readers who can’t fathom not knowing about rice.

“Had it not been for the rice culture, the city’s huge success as a major city in centuries past as well as today’s identity as a mecca for tourism would not exist — and those tour guides would not have a job,” writes Charleston native Mary Coy, who suspects many of her fellow tour guides don’t appreciate rice’s significance because they “are ‘from off,’ just as the majority of the area’s residents are.”

But the catchiest response came from George Larson, a native Northeasterner who vivdly remembers hearing Carolina Rice advertised on the radio in the 1950s. Larson dug up the tune, which suggests rice can be prepared “pressure-cooked, Southern (or) Oriental style.”

“I come from Cah-lina, so pardon my drawl, I’m here to mention long-grain rice to y’all,” a female voice sings. “It makes rice fancy eatin’, so tasty and so nice, For quality and nourishment, it’s Cah-lina rice.”

For your listening pleasure, you’ll find the whole jingle above.

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