Judging from the evidence assembled in Hoppin John’s Lowcountry Cooking by the proprietor of Hoppin’ John’s cookbook store in Charleston, the residents of coastal South Carolina can boast a history of eating well. Plantations that produced the world’s best rice for over 200 years, marshlands and waters rich in shellfish and game birds, and a long simmering of African and European food-ways have created a heritage of pilaus, gumbos, and other low-country pleasures. Taylor’s recipes are set down with care and laced with genial erudition.