How Far Do Chillie Bears Roam?

chillie“The secret to Chillie Bears is you have to work with them,” says the clerk at Seafood Alley, one of the last local joints to still offer the frozen treat. Seafood Alley sometimes deviates from the traditional recipe (which calls for nothing but Kool-Aid) and freezes pineapple juice, but the rules are the same.

“You have to use your teeth,” the clerk explains.

Chillie Bears’ secrets don’t end there, though. The history and reach of the iced snack — and the underground economy surrounding it — are largely undocumented.

“Every neighborhood had a lady who sold them,” says Brandon Myers, the 31-year old owner of Seafood Alley. Although he describes himself as “out of the loop,” he suspects the practice has dwindled away since he was a boy. “Charleston has changed so much.” Continue reading

Shrimp and Grits Takes Trip Through a Texas Deep Fryer

steevithak

steevithak

When the State Fair of Texas starts this Sunday, the long list of deep-fried concessions will include a lowcountry dish making its Dallas debut.

Allan Weiss of Weiss Enterprises worked with a consulting company to develop deep-fried shrimp and grits, which the fair’s publicity department describes as “homemade grits…made with a blend of fresh herbs, cheese, and Cajun shrimp, coated in a secret batter and deep fried.”

“As far as shrimp and grits go, I like the way it tastes and so forth,” says Weiss, who could only spare a minute of phone time in the week leading up to the fair, the largest annual exposition in North America. Continue reading