Calabash

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Eat some seafood in the place where 'Calabash' style got its name

On North Carolina’s southern coast in the Brunswick Islands, there’s a tiny fishing village that has become so dedicated to a certain style of cooking, that seafood lovers have spread its name around the world. Calabash-style cooking involves corn meal battering and frying and is a popular way to cook seafood in this region. But Calabash means more than just the way it is cooked, it also refers to the price, generous portions served family-style and the laid-back atmosphere where the food is cooked. The word “Calabash” comes from the American Indian word for a type of gourd. The port city is serious about its seafood. With about one seafood restaurant per 10 residents, it has probably the highest concentration of seafood restaurants for any city its size in the world. And the residents aren’t shy about touting their town as the “Seafood Capital of the World.” Calabash’s supporters go beyond its seafood. Actor Jimmy Durante helped make the town famous by signing off his radio show for years with the signature line, “Goodnight Miss Calabash, wherever you are.” For years Durante kept the origin of the line a secret, and the popular theory was that he was referring to the owner of a Calabash restaurant where he had eaten and fell in love with the food. After many years he revealed that it referred to his wife, who visited the oak-shaded town and fell so in love with it, that it became his nickname for her (sound clip at 48:08).

Calabash, North Carolina

Calabash, NC

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