10 Things on Every West Virginian's Thanksgiving PlateNovember 24, 2014
The New River Gorge region has a distinct flavor, and a long history of homestyle cooking.
Around the holidays, here’s how we add a little Appalachian flair to our holiday meals:
Our state food in West Virginia, pepperoni rolls are best baked right here at home. They’re tastiest in soft, warm bread with a thick pepperoni stick through the center, smothered in gooey cheese. Gino’s pizza serves them up with their hearty marinara sauce.
Fishing is still a favored passtime here, and we grill up each catch… often with lots of butter. Hawk’s Nest Restaurant steps their trout dish up a notch with maple glaze and a roasted pecan crust.
Gravy of any sort, really, is a must-have, but sausage gravy is an Appalachian tradition. Tudor’s Biscuit World does it right with thick, hearty gravy in huge helpings, flooding your plate with delicious flavor.
Speaking of gravy, it pairs best with biscuits! You can grab those from Tudor’s, too, (huge, buttery ones) but if you’re up early enough, get some fresh-baked from Cafe One Ten. Biscuits are a great base for a savory stuffing for your holiday turkey.
If you want a little sweetness in your stuffing, make it with cornbread instead. Tamarack’s chefs are cooking up country-style cornbread stuffing, which you can pick up on Thanksgiving to take to your feast.
Soup beans are a classic side dish across the region. Traditionally, the dish is made with pinto beans and smoked pork for flavoring. Dory’s Grill serves up a delicious pinto bean side with its dinners.
Known for their strong flavor (and stronger smell), these bold wild onions grow in abundance around the New River Gorge. Locals add them as a flavoring to any savory dish. Sometimes you can find them tucked into a special at Gumbo’s Cajun Restaurant, where many of the veggies are sourced locally.
Any home-canned jam or jelly will add a little touch of West Virginia, but the sweet allure of apple butter is one of our best cane creations. Find a variety made with our own Golden Delicious apples for a real regional treat. Pick out some from The Chimney Corner, along with some local honey or chow chow relish.
For a savory bread spread, make up a batch of pimento cheese. It’s a creamy cheddar topping with a little kick of flavor from chopped pimento peppers. Secret Sandwich Society has perfected the condiment in its pimento cheese fries.
Perhaps the only dessert more delicious than pumpkin pie, a sweet cobbler with fresh fruit is a perfect end to a Thanksgiving meal. Cathedral Cafe will bake up a whole cobbler for you to take to your Thanksgiving table. This year’s specials are apple or blackberry, but they also serve up a berry blend, all layered with a sweet brown sugar topping.
What WV tastes are you bringing to your table?