Benjamin Martyn, an English writer and official, wrote about his surroundings and experiences in Georgia, and since his account is interesting in regard to common foods I will share a bit of it today. When writing of the area in and around Savannah he also commented on Darien, GA which is near and dear to my heart since I first met Martin there while cooking for the garrison.
We abound in the necessary conveniences of life, are well supplied with fresh provisions, viz. beef from 1 d. ½ to 2 d. ½ per lb. Pork from 2 d. to 2 d. ½ per lb. Veal from 2 d. to 3 d. per lb. Mutton (being yet very scarce) is from 4 d. ½ to 5 d. per lb. Tame fowl we have plenty of, therefore seldom buy any, nor wild fowl, and fish, which we abound with.—Mr. Harris, who is an expert Fowler, sometimes goes out with his Gun, and seldom fails of bringing in either Wild Turkey, Curlews, Rabbit, Partridge, Squirrel, Ducks or Geese, (in their season) sometimes Venison, but that, and Bear, &c. the Indians supply us with often.
As to our liquors, we have wine; chiefly Madeira or Vidonia, which cost us from 3s. to 3 s. 6 d. a gallon; strong beer 20 s. per barrel, of 30 gallons; cyder 10 s. per barrel. Our small beer we brew of molasses, and is cheap. Coffee about 18 d. per lb. Tea from 5 s. to 7 s. per lb. The finest wheat flour is at 1 d. per lb. I bake my own bread generally with half wheat, and half Indian wheat flour; the Indian wheat [corn] is sold from 10 d. to 18 d. per bushel, is well tasted and very nourishing bread. The finest rice is sold here from 3 s. 6 d. to 5 s. per hundred weight.
We have good store of pulse, roots, and potherbs, such as pease, and beans of divers kinds, (many of them yet unknown in England) pompions, musk and water melons, potatoes, and generally all the roots and herbs used in England. As to our Fruit, the most common are peaches and nectarines, (I believe that I had an hundred bushels of the former this year in my little garden in town) we have also apples of divers kinds, chincopin nuts, walnut, chesnut, hickory and ground nuts; several sorts of berries, besides those common with you; very good grapes; but no oranges grow nearer than Amelia to the Southward. We have exceeding fine water at Savannah, fire wood very reasonable; such as have houses of their own, have no other Burthen than performing or paying for their guard duty in their turn. There are no Taxes; all publick Buildings, and other such Works, such as Bridges, Roads, &c. have been carried on at the expense of the Trustees. I have not seen any part of the World, where persons, that would labour, and used any Industry, might live more comfortably.
Source: Martyn, Benjamin. An Impartial Enquiry Into the State and Utility of the Province of Georgia. 1741. London.
Blissful Meals, thehistoricfoodie©