Last weekend I attended an event organized by the Post and Courier called the Spirited Brunch. This was the third year of this event, but it was my first time getting the opportunity to experience it. It’s safe to say I was not disappointed. One of my favorite things about Charleston is that it really encompasses its nickname, “The Holy City”. I love that instead of skyscrapers, the city is dotted with church steeples and that all the churches encompass a wide variety of faith traditions. This event was not only a great opportunity to taste a wide variety of food, but also was an opportunity to see inside churches most people wouldn’t think to step foot in otherwise.
The first church I went to was Trinity Methodist Church. Here, I sampled wedding pound cake, as well as small powdered sugar dusted almond cookies. Both were light, simple and delicious and would have paired delightfully well with a cup of tea. There were a few women standing outside the church offering brief histories of the church, as well as quick tours. I loved how welcoming everyone at this church was. It was a great way to kick off my tour.
Next, I ventured over to the College of Charleston Alumni center, where they had people from a couple different churches gathered at different tables, offering up food unique to their faith traditions. I sampled falafel, hummus, rice, and samosas from the Central Mosque, as well as chocolates from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Mt. Pleasant. The samosas were crispy on the outside, and rich and flavorful on the inside. The chocolates seemed to just melt right in my mouth and were the perfect sweet finish.
I then walked over to Grace Cathedral, which was offering up samples of homemade Charleston chewies, pimiento cheese sandwiches, and brownies. You really can’t go wrong with a Charleston chewie or a pimento cheese sandwich. This church did a great job of featuring staples of Charleston food tradition and the flavor did not disappoint. The Charleston chewies were sweet and had the perfect amount of crunch from the small bits of almonds inside of them. The sandwiches were perfectly soft to the bite and full of tangy flavor.
My next stop was over to St. John’s Lutheran Church, which was offering up a plethora of snack items. They had Charleston chewies, as well as chocolate chip cookie bars, bite size pecan pies, pimento cheese sandwiches, shrimp salad sandwiches, as well as fruit and cheese on a stick! I loved the wide variety of food this church was offering. My favorite things of all the things I tried here were the bite-size pecan pies and the fruit and cheese on a stick. They were simple, yet delicious all at the same time. Everyone at this church was extremely welcoming as well and more than willing to take you on a tour of the church.
I didn’t have to travel far to the next church, as it was just a few doors down from St. John’s! This church was the Unitarian Church. Here, I got to sample some very unique things, consisting of Thomas Jefferson’s deviled eggs and Abigail Adams’ apple pan dowdie. I felt that the deviled eggs had a very strong mustard-like flavor that I was not a huge fan of, however the apple pan dowdie had a very unique spiced apple flavor, which I loved. I found it really neat to be tasting food from recipes of such important historical figures! This church was also displaying images of its restoration process, which I found to be quite interesting.
Finally, I headed over to the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist. Here, they were offering up samples of their famous okra soup, as well as Irish soda bread. I loved how thick and chunky the okra soup was and that the Irish soda bread was soft and chewy, but not to sweet either. It paired quite well with the soup. I had heard great things about this okra soup and I would say that it definitely lived up to its hype.
If you’ve never experienced the Spirited Brunch before I would definitely suggest checking it out next year. It’s FREE and you get to have the opportunity to experience all the different faith traditions that Charleston encompasses, as well as snack along the way. It’s a great way to spend an afternoon in Charleston, and I look forward to doing this tour in many years to come.