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By Mark Davis
The nation founders, the Lone Star State thrives
Topic - Nathalie Dupree
Two Southern ladies are discussing a mutual acquaintance. "You know? She can't cook," says one lady gently. "Poor thing," says the other, nodding sadly. "I feel so sorry for the family."
Nathalie Dupree - grande dame and veteran of nearly 50 years in the kitchen - and I are sipping iced tea on a Charleston piazza. In this city, that is the side porch of traditional houses that stretch back from a narrow frontage, with a long side wall open to capture any breezes from the sea. The cooking is similarly deceptive.
"It was hard for people at that time to understand Southern cooking," she says. "They thought it was all pork and bitter greens."
"Food straight from the sea and the garden is different; I grew figs and citrus and all my own herbs," she says. "This is what so many people are looking for now; I was there early."