World famous Calabash seafood: Then and now

Calabash and seafood have a long history together and even though it’s constantly evolving, some things will never change.

Calabash and seafood have a long history together and even though it’s constantly evolving, some things will never change.

It all started back in the 1950’s. Fishermen would bring their fresh catch from the Calabash River into Calabash right off the boat and they would lightly bread it and deep fry it.

Soon, that way of preparing the fresh seafood would become known as “Calabash-style.”

At one point in the 70’s and 80’s, Calabash was home to 210 residents and around 20 Calabash-style seafood restaurants according to Kurt Hardee, owner of Ella’s Seafood Restaurant.

Though there are no longer 20 Calabash-style seafood restaurants in the small town today, there are still a good handful to choose from.

Some of the restaurants still in Calabash have been there since the 50’s when the Calabash seafood scene started, and some have come around more recently. But they stay true to Calabash-style seafood in one way or another.

Some of the newer restaurants have waterfront dining available so customers can enjoy the nice breeze that comes off the Calabash River. They offer a variety of menu options including grilled and sautéed seafood which is a recent addition to the traditional Calabash-style seafood menu.

But don’t worry. If the newer stuff isn’t your cup of tea, there are still some original restaurants there that have hardly changed their menu over the years.

Kim Pounsberry, manager of Dockside Seafood House says they have been cooking everything the same way since 1955 because “it’s just the right way to do it.”

The old and the new styles of Calabash seafood is part of what gives the area great character today. But if there’s one thing that all the restaurant owners can agree on, it’s that Calabash is known for it’s great seafood.

“Calabash has got it’s own little niche I think compared to any of the other local beaches because it’s just known for being a little sleeping village,” Bob Taylor, owner of The Waterfront Seafood Shack said.

For more information on all things Calabash and Calabash seafood, click here.

(Source: NC Brunswick Islands)
(Source: NC Brunswick Islands)

 


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