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Hushpuppy facts for kids

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Hushpuppies 5stack.jpg
A serving of hushpuppies
Alternative names Hush-puppy, cornbread ball, corn dodgers
Place of origin North America
Main ingredients Cornmeal

A hush puppy (or hushpuppy) is a small, savoury, deep-fried round ball made from cornmeal-based batter. Hushpuppies are frequently served as a side dish with seafood and other deep-fried foods.


The use of ground corn (maize) in cooking originated with Native Americans, who first cultivated the crop. Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and Seminole cooking introduced one of its main staples into Southern cuisine: corn, either ground into meal or limed with an alkaline salt to make hominy, in a Native American technology known as nixtamalization. Cornbread was popular during the American Civil War because it was inexpensive and could be made in many different shapes and sizes. It could be fashioned into high-rising, fluffy loaves or simply fried for a quick meal.

To a far greater degree than anyone realizes, several of the most important food dishes that the Southeastern Indians live on today is the "soul food" eaten by both black and white Southerners. ... Indian boiled cornbread is present in Southern cuisine as "corn meal dumplings", ... and as "hush puppies"...

Hushpuppies are strongly associated with the Southern United States. A southern hushpuppy championship is held annually in Lufkin, Texas, and they are also available throughout the United States at restaurants serving deep-fried seafood.


The first recorded use of the word "hush-puppy" dates to 1899. The name is often attributed to hunters, fishermen, or other cooks who would fry some basic cornmeal mixture (possibly that they had been bread-coating or battering their own food with) and feed it to their dogs to "hush the puppies" during cook-outs or fish-fries. Other legends date the term to the Civil War, in which Confederate soldiers are said to have tossed fried cornbread to quell the barks of their dogs.

Characteristics and preparation

Typical hushpuppy ingredients include cornmeal, wheat flour, eggs, salt, baking soda, milk or buttermilk, and water, and may include onion, spring onion (scallion), garlic, whole kernel corn, and peppers. Sometimes pancake batter is used. The batter is mixed well, adjusting ingredients until thick, and dropped a spoonful at a time into hot oil. The small breads are fried until crispy golden brown, and cooled. Hushpuppies are often served with seafood or barbecued foods. They are commonly made at home or served in restaurants advertising home-style food.


Sorullitos (hushpuppies) from Ponce, Puerto Rico (IMG 3046)
A plate with a dozen Puerto Rican "sorullitos" (hushpuppies) appetizers in Ponce, Puerto Rico

In Jamaica, such fried bread dumplings are known as "festivals", and are made from a flour and cornmeal dough, with added salt and sugar, which is then formed into hot-dog roll shapes and deep-fried. They are sweeter than hushpuppies, which often contain onion or garlic. They are served with jerked meats such as pork or chicken. Mostly, it is served with fried or escoveitch (see also escabeche and ceviche) fish.

In Puerto Rico, hushpuppies are made in the shape of a short sausage and are called "sorullos" or "sorullitos" and stuffed with cheese.

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Hushpuppy para niños

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