This rich pink paste dates back in Georgia and South Carolina history. There are recipes for it in most coastal Southern cookbooks, like "Charleston Receipts" and "Two Hundred Years of Charleston Cooking." It's smooth, buttery and subtle. Put it in a pretty mold and serve it with crackers or toast points. It can be frozen.

Nathalie Dupree

Nathalie Dupree is the author of 13 cookbooks, most recently the James Beard award-winning "Mastering the Art of Southern Cooking." She lives in Charleston and may be reached through

Shrimp Paste


11/2 cups butter, softened

11/2 pounds large shrimp, cooked and peeled

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon fresh thyme

1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

Dash cayenne pepper or hot sauce

Freshly ground black pepper

Chives for garnish (optional)


Line a loaf pan or other mold with plastic wrap. Whisk the butter until soft and white. Chop the shrimp very fine in a food processor or blender and add to the butter, combining well. Add the salt, thyme, nutmeg and cayenne pepper or hot sauce and mix well. Season to taste with black pepper. Spread the shrimp paste in the loaf pan or mold. Cover and refrigerate until set. Sprinkle with chives if desired before serving. (Shrimp paste can be frozen. Defrost before serving.)