GHENT, WV (WVNS) — When it comes to West Virginia, eating is one thing people love to do.
While there is so much to choose from, West Virginians have foods that are near and dear to them.
The following list is filled with some of the most popular foods to grace the forests, hollers, and rivers of the Mountain State.
According to wvtourism.com, the pepperoni roll was developed by an Italian baker around the year 1930 as an easy meal for coal miners to carry in their lunch boxes, and it still remains popular today. It is so popular that it is West Virginia’s official state food.
Biscuits and Gravy
Many talk about how this food is a classic in West Virginia. This dish is popular in the fact that it has a restaurant just for it. If you have ever heard of Tudor’s Biscuit World, then you know what it is all about. This is a dish to enjoy anytime and anywhere when hunger strikes.
Another favorite from onlyinyourstate.com, is this popular dish in the Mountain State. The best way to cook it is in a seasoned cast iron skillet only used for making cornbread. You can add some sugar to it as well. It is best eaten with pinto beans.
This wild leek, also called ramson or ramp, grows in the mountains of West Virginia. According to WV Tourism, when in season, which is in April, lovers of this fragrant vegetable dig them up, then cook them in bacon grease and serve them with a meal of scrambled eggs, ham, pinto beans and sassafras tea. It also goes great with fried potatoes as well.
These delights are only in season at a certain time of the year. When they are in season, you can have them fried with cracked pepper or any way you desire. wvtourism.com warns for caution, you cannot eat them raw. They have toxins that can only be removed by heating them up.
Come sample one of West Virginia’s traditional “slaw dogs.” This staple comes prepared with mustard, onions, sauce, and cole slaw. wvtourism.com claims that once you try a bite, you will be hooked.
The funny thing about this popular food in West Virginia is that they do not have any actual wheat in them. The batter makes fluffy pancakes with an earthy taste, which is where the name comes from. They are also gluten free according to onlyinyourstate.com.
A little history from wvtourism.com, in the late winter in the mountains near Pickens means maple sugaring time for the residents who live there. Sap is collected and transported to a sugar house where it’s boiled down to a thick, golden syrup. The maple syrup making tradition in West Virginia goes back to Native Americans and early settlers. They used maple syrup as their main source of sugar.
Honey is an important food in the Mountain State. wvtourism.com talks about the West Virginia State Honey Festival in Parkersburg and how it was founded to educate the community on the importance of honey and the honey bee. This festival, features many things such as entertainment, crafts and a variety of honey products.
Chicken and Dumplings
This is a type of food, according to onlyinyourstate.com, that is not necessarily exclusive to West Virginia, but is well loved by the residents and natives of West Virginia. It’s a good meal for a hearty appetite.