Forget everything that you think you know about delicious cookies and meet the quintessential Charleston Benne Wafer and the city’s signature sweet treat. There is a long culinary history in Charleston for this unique, crunchy, bite that you have to stop yourself from eating the whole container in one sitting. The height resembles that of a thin cracker and makes for the perfect vessel for other southern treats to rest on.
Benne Wafers have been unique to the Lowcountry since the rich agricultural region was colonized in the 17th century. Benne — the Bantu word for sesame — was brought across the Atlantic from Africa and planted and cultivated extensively throughout the South on farms and plantations. Although a countless number of Lowcountry recipes and iconic dishes call for this nutty seed raw or toasted, none of them are as widely loved or recognized as the iconic Benne Wafer.