Delmarva Cooks: Flavors of the Shore

Welcome to “Delmarva Cooks: Flavors of the Shore” – a food series highlighting the traditional ingredients found in many of the Eastern Shore’s most recognizable dishes, as well as the culinary traditions of other communities that have made the Shore their home.

This series is a revamp of a program the Ward Foundation did more than a decade ago. Back then, we hosted cooking demonstrations about scrapple, Smith Island cake, and more. We bring the series back in a new, digital format.

From time to time we will showcase a specific dish with ties to Delmarva. The videos will feature a demonstration led by local chefs and home cooks, as well as provide some background on the traditional ingredients or methods used. Delmarva Cooks will highlight local favorites and Eastern Shore staples: everything from chicken and dumplings to strawberries, to tuna prepared straight off the boat. In addition to ingredients indigenous to Delmarva, we will also feature the culinary traditions of other communities who now call the shore home: Indian curries, Jamaican delicacies, and an Ethiopian coffee ceremony are just of few of the food adventures to look forward to.


Episode 1: Chicken & Dumplings

We hope you enjoy our first episode as we talk chicken & dumplings with local legend Tracy Townsend-Ruiz and chef Phil Cropper.

Episode 2: Muskrat

This episode highlights an Eastern Shore favorite: muskrat! Historically, muskrat was prominently featured in the diets of the Shore’s Native American tribes. Today, its popularity has dwindled, but it’s still prepared the old-fashioned way by a number of local cooks and tradition bearers. In our episode today, we are joined by Chief Donna Wolf Mother Abbott, and Brenda Morning Marsh Woman Abbott of the Nause-Waiwash Band of Indians, who share the history behind this traditional Native American dish. We then move into the kitchen with local cooks Barry Williams and Wilson Davis, who provide us with a recipe and cooking demonstration on how to prepare muskrat.

Episode 3: Indian Curry

In today’s episode, we are taking a closer look at Indian curry! Traditional curries are historically prepared with spices such as turmeric, cumin, and coriander (spices many of us usually have in our pantry). In our episode today, we are joined by Archita Das as she whips up a family favorite for us – fried egg curry. While Archita loves cooking and experimenting with all types of cuisine, her main passion is for preparing traditional Indian food. She provides us with a recipe and cooking demonstration on preparing one of her favorite dishes.

Episode 4: Oysters

With the colder, “R” months upon us, we decided it was time to dive into our local favorite: oysters! Join Captain David Whitelock and the crew of the skipjack Kathryn as they dredge oysters off of Deal Island, MD. Then learn how to make a classic oyster pudding with Pocomoke City’s own Laura Morrison. Enjoy!

Delmarva Cooks is produced as part of the Lower Shore Traditions folklife program at the Ward Foundation- the Lower Eastern Shore’s folklife center in the Maryland Folklife Network. LST is supported in part by grants from Maryland Traditions and the Maryland State Arts Council, and through the generosity of members and friends like you. Thank you!