That’s why B.J. Dennis, a Gullah chef from Charleston, was stunned to find the rice growing in a field in Trinidad, tended by a farmer descended from slaves who once lived in Georgia.


In fields dotting the Moruga Hills of southern Trinidad, growers tend rice plants that came from an African strain. It was carried there by slaves from coastal Georgia who had been granted land and freedom in exchange for joining the British military during the War of 1812.

Carolina Gold Rice Foundation

Mr. Dennis had heard about hill rice — also known as upland red bearded rice or Moruga Hill rice — through the culinary organization Slow Food USA and the Carolina Gold Rice Foundation, the group that brought back Carolina Gold in the early 2000s. He’d also heard stories about it from elderly cooks in his community. Like everyone else, he thought the hill rice of the African…

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