As Jerry “Butch” Nichols of the Piedmont Fire Department says, “cush is a Piedmont thing!” Largely confined to Piedmont and the surrounding area of Williamston and Pelger, the cush tradition goes back well over a hundred years. Cush was served as a standard side dish at fish fries. Today, Nichols believes that only ten families still know how to make cush. For their part, the Piedmont Fire Department cooks a pound of cush every time fish is served at community suppers. Cornmeal is added to onions and green peppers cooked in the grease from the fish. Red pepper and hot sauce give the mixture some zest.