Six-time James Beard semifinalist pastry chef Cynthia Wong doesn’t understand the appeal of Lowcountry boil, but she does get the temptation of yuzu-coconut sherbet masquerading as a heap of shrimp and corn. Wong’s company Life Raft Treats recently premiered its latest optical illusion at a Sundae Social in Charleston, South Carolina — and the resemblance to the classic Southern dish is uncanny.
Life Raft Treats is well known for its savory-food-shaped desserts, including a viral chicken drumstick made with waffle ice cream. “I thought it would be really funny to do a Lowcountry boil because I can’t eat shrimp,” she says, “but even if I could eat shrimp, I wouldn’t want to eat a Lowcountry boil, because I just don’t get it.”
A Lowcountry boil (also known as Frogmore stew, Beaufort stew, or a Beaufort boil) is a combo of shrimp, sausage, corn, potatoes, and Old Bay seasoning that is often seen at tailgates and backyard gatherings. While many residents and visitors love the tradition, not everyone agrees.
Wong credits her production manager Hanna Yoon with making all their “wacky ideas” come to life. So far, they’ve produced tiny tomato sandwiches, foot-long subs, fried fish, and more — all made from ice cream. Because the production of the Lowcountry boil shape is so labor-intensive, Wong says it’s only available when they make it for pop-ups, but she does hint that a Life Raft Treats storefront is on its way to Charleston, so look for more food-shaped creations to come.