Charleston Purloos

Appears in

I interviewed several Charlestonians on the subject of purloo. My first question was, “How do you spell purloo?” The answers were: purloo, perloo, perlo, perlau, pilau, and pilaf. I was assured that if I could think of another way to spell it, that would be fine as well. All Charlestonians pronounce it the same, however, no matter what the spelling: per-‘lō. Purloo is also the single dish of traditional Charleston fare that all informants—black and white, above and below Broad Street—recognized immediately.