I guess like a lot of people, predominantly on this side of the Atlantic, I thought Sylvester the cartoon Cat’s phrase “sufferin’ succotash” was a made-up exclamation of annoyance and frustration – which I think it was, but what I’m getting at is that there actually is such a thing as succotash. I thought succotash was just a funny made-up word, whereas in fact it is a delicious dish of yummy stuff.

I read about succotash somewhere fairly recently, the fact that it was a dish consisting of corn and beans and a variety of other vegetables. It comes from North America and the word is from the Narragansett language, sadly now almost extinct but being rebuilt and relearned There seems to be as many recipes as there are families who make it, and I guess whatever seasonal and local legumes and vegetables were at hand were included with the basic corn and bean combo.

So I’d come across the meaning of the word, and that came in handy for a crossword a couple of days ago when it was the answer to one of the clues. Reminded of the dish, I looked up the recipe, and thought to myself it sounded rather a delicious combination of things we mostly already had. We are lucky ion our village that our paper shop also sells groceries and fruit and vegetables, as well as pretty much everything you might need, to be honest. On our quick walk to the shop for the paper we also picked up some butter beans and I made succotash to go with our roast chicken for dinner.

I must say it was jolly tasty; I did have to make an onion and bean free version for fussy daughter, but we all agreed it was delicious and we would have it again. I’d combined aspects of various recipes I’d come across and this is what I made, my version:


  • 1 medium onion, finely sliced
  • ½ tin butter beans
  • 4 oz sweetcorn
  • 2 oz peas
  • 2 slices bacon cut in largish pieces
  • cherry tomatoes
  • cream
  1. gently fry the onion in your preferred oil/bacon fat/lard
  2. when it begins to soften add the butter beans, stir gently so you don’t break them up, keep stirring from time to time so they pick up the opinion flavour
  3. when the onions are soft but not really soft, add the bacon pieces and the whole cherry tomatoes, still stirring very gently
  4. when it’s really nearly cooked, add the peas, then the sweetcorn – they just want to be heated not overcooked to a mush
  5. stir in enough cream to make the amount of sauce you like and want

I would have liked to add okra which is traditional, but sadly that was one thing the paper shop didn’t have!

Here is a link to a very interesting page about succotash:

Sorry there are no pictures, we were too busy eating it. So my featured image is of corn on the cob instead!

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