A Taste of the South: My First Visit to Charleston, SC

A couple of weeks ago I made my way to the Haven Home Blogger’s conference in Charleston, SC. I wrote a blog last week about checking out Swig and Swine, a highly-touted BBQ spot. Aside from that, I had the chance to walk around the city a bit, especially Market Street, which is a popular tourist district.

For the most part, I enjoyed Market Street and that area of the city quite a bit. I embraced my role as a tourist, strolling along at a slow pace and looking at many of the different shops that lined either side of the main drag. I had come mostly for a hot sauce emporium that I had heard about on Yelp called the Pepper Palace. I love hot sauce, and this shop was supposed to be a regular cornucopia of rubs, wing, BBQ, and hot sauces.

Pepper Palace had a fantastic collection of products.

This was a special place, no doubt about it. They had dozens of items that I wanted to try, and I was limited only by my budget and the amount of space I had in my suitcase. They had a deal where if you bought five items then the sixth one of equal or lesser value was free, so I went ahead and took advantage of it. I’m looking forward to trying these sauces and marinades on a variety of different meats, so stay tuned for my reviews of some of them in the upcoming weeks. As for Pepper Palace, if you find yourself in Charleston, by all means stop by.

I also found a shop called The Spice and Tea Exchange. I’m not much of a tea person, but I thought I would get a selection of different kinds as a birthday gift for my Mom in November. She’s turning 65, and retirement is not far off for her. Lucky!

Here are some of the many tea varieties.

The only problem came about when I took them back the hotel and showed Megan. She informed me that my Mom had mentioned to her once that she doesn’t like hibiscus teas. As luck would have it, all three of the varieties I chose contain hibiscus flowers! Oh well. We’ll have them in the house for when company comes, I guess.

Other than that, I enjoyed my time in this part of Charleston…with one exception. There were lots of reminders to me everywhere that this was a red state. There were tee-shirt shops, for instance, that had shirts that said “Make America Strong Again,” featuring Donald Trump as a muscular bodybuilder. I wish that they were being sarcastic, since Trump has never actually been that in-shape in his entire life, but I think they were completely serious. I was out of my element, and in that respect, I was glad that I would be heading back to a state that votes resoundingly blue.

There’s just one more picture that I wanted to share with you. I spotted this sticker on the back of a stop sign, and I thought it was cool.

What’s Cthulhu doing in Charleston?

I have no idea what’s going on with the popular H.P. Lovecraft creation Cthulhu featured as a sticker on the back of a stop sign. Maybe somebody out there has an answer. Is this a band, maybe, or a reference to some game or clothing company? For whatever reason, it appears that Cthulhu is in the Deep South. Who knew?

That’s it for this week. As I stated in my last post, it was nice to visit a part of the country that I usually don’t, and I’m very much looking forward to trying the different sauces from Pepper Palace. So far I’ve tried the chipotle ketchup, and man it’s good. Props to you, Pepper Palace. You get the full endorsement of the Vegetables Suck website.


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