Today I am looking at food in the State of Virginia. Virginia was the first State to join the Declaration of Independence on 16th December 1777, but was the 10th state to actually join the Union – the United States of America, which it became part of on 25th June 1788.
Some Fun Facts
- The first Thanksgiving in North America was held in Virginia in 1619.
- The world’s only oyster museum is on Chincoteague Island. I have researched and can not find another museum about oysters!
- Virginia is one of the nation’s top six producers of apples. Red and Golden Delicious, Rome, Stayman, York, Winesap, Granny Smith, Jonathan and Gala are just some of the varieties found in hillside groves.
The four official State foods of Virginia
These are the foods officially listed at State Foods of Virginia.
Now I must admit I love blueberry muffins, and we enjoy them as a breakfast favourite in this house, as well as one of many muffins- but I am curious why in 1989 they decided to make them an official State food of Virginia. I can see I will need to do more research!
Here is a link to my recipe for Blueberry Muffin
The Brook Trout
Virginia also has a State fish – the Brook Trout. Having grown up in a family who loved to fish, trout is a fish that I can enjoy. Simple to cook, quick to cook and has a delicious flavour. Try just gutting it, and steaming in aluminium foil, with a sprig of your favourite herbs.
Try just gutting it, and steaming in aluminium foil, with a sprig of your favourite herbs and some seasoning. keeping it simple when cooking fish, allows their delicate flavour to come through.
So in 1982 Virginia made milk there offcial state drink. Milk has been called a nearly perfect food – a source of protein, calcium, and several other important nutrients. Each dairy cow produces about 6.5 gallons of milk per day. Less than half of this milk is consumed as a beverage – the rest is used for butter, cheese, ice cream, milk powder and other processed products.- source here
Strawberries are one of the best economic crops for Virginia to grow and they have different varieties that excel in different parts of the State. So the fact they have chosen Strawberry ice cream does not surprise me. Ice cream is an american favourite. It is popular everywhere, with a huge variety of flavours available. peanuts are a huge crop in Virgina and that is also made into ice cream- here is my recipe for Strawberry ice cream
The food you will find in Virigina
Virginia hams, prized for their sweetness, are cut from razorback hogs fed on peanuts and peaches. They are cured, then smoked over apple and hickory wood fires, and hung to age in the smokehouse. The hams are cured in a dry mixture for 30–37 days, then spiced with black pepper, and cold smoked (at 70–90 °F [21–27 °C]) for another 10–15 days. Afterward, the ham is aged and mellowed for a minimum of one year. Queen Victoria of England was a regular and celebrated customer of a noted Smithfield concern.
The largest of all peanuts, the Virginia peanut is also known as the “ballpark” peanut and is often used in gourmet snacks. Virginia peanuts account for about 15 percent of total U. S. production and are grown mainly in southeastern Virginia, northeastern North Carolina, South Carolina and West Texas. Virginias are a popular peanut used for all-natural peanut butter.
Chess pie (the name is possibly a corruption of “chest pie” or “cheese pie”) is filled with a custard containing eggs, butter, flour, sugar, and usually cornmeal. Chess pie is awarded to Virginia because the very first written recipe for such a pie, hiding under the alias “transparent pudding,” appeared in The Virginia House-wife in 1825.
All oysters grown on the east coast are of the same species, called Crassostrea Virginica. Oysters take on the flavor of the waters in which they are harvested. With seven different coastal habitats, the flavors of Virginia oysters range from salty to buttery to sweet. Some of the creeks on the Virginia Eastern Shore are no more than a mile apart. Yet the oysters from each region take on different nuances in flavor, texture and appearance.
Brunswick County, located in Southern Virginia, is the documented birthplace of the hearty meat and vegetable-based Brunswick Stew that has long warmed brisk autumn and winter days and is served at most festivals in the region. the perfect comfort food. Although there is a contender for this Stew and that is Brunswick, Nebraska.Here is a recipe to try for Brunswick Stew
Although I have been to Virginia, I am looking forward to the next time I go. It is always interesting to discover dishes that have historical significance to a State, and I am sure others can point me in the direction of other recipes to try. Please feel free to comment below, if I need to explore other dishes from Virginia.
Speak to you soon with another State.