Virginia is famous for its food and has many classic dishes that originated in the great state and perfected to be the very best. Most of the cuisine of Virginia is heavily influenced by the early European settlers but done in a particular style that it could only have come from Virginia. Some of the most common Virginia dishes are stews, types of ham, seafood and fruit pies. Typically, restaurants in Virginia will serve seasonal food with fresh ingredients harvested at that particular time of the year. There is also a bountiful supply of meat, fish, poultry and dairy products to whet everybody’s whistle.
Chesapeake Bay Blue Crab
If you are a fan of seafood, then this blue crab is one of Virginia’s most recognized dishes. Diners come from miles around to taste these delicious crabs from the Chesapeake Bay area, and crabbing forms a big part of the local workforce and economy. In recent years there has been a shortage of these delectable crabs, but common sense prevailed and an environmental protective took place to make sure harvesting of the crabs was sustainable, and slowly the population of these tasty crustaceans has risen to almost old numerical heights.
Chesapeake is also the place for another loved creature from the deep, the Virginia Oyster. Virginia has been tagged as the oyster capital of the East Coast of America. The oysters in the bay have several distinct areas where they flourish, and experts say they can actually taste the difference between which oysters came from which area their flavor is so exquisite. To celebrate these marvelous oysters, Virginia has many festivals in honor of this most famous celebrity. Oyster lovers from all over the globe come to Virginia to have fun at the Urbana Oyster festival and the Chincoteague Oyster festival, and indeed many smaller festivals and fetes too.
Recognized all over the world this delicacy can be afforded by everybody. Dating back to the early settlers the ham is known for its distinctive salty flavor. This occurs as the hams are cured in salt, the settlers did this to preserve the meat as there was no refrigeration at the time. Virginia Hams are extremely popular with European visitors and are exported all over the world the demand is so great. Nowadays there is such a thing as refrigeration, but the hams are still salted as a cure so they retain that individual taste.
Another common food from Virginia is stew, and there is a plethora of versions all over the state. One of the most popular is Brunswick Stew which is renowned for being thick, hearty and savory. In the past the traditional stew probably was made with rabbit or some other game, but today it is usually made with chicken. The stew has a tomato base and then corn, lima beans and potatoes are added with whatever meat is at hand. Family recipes have been handed down from generation to generation and there is fierce competition in some country fairs who makes the best Brunswick Stew. Virginia’s cuisine is broad and encompasses many European influences and is really very decent, so the next time you travel to the East Coast you must really try it.