This is another post about food. With all the TV and food posts you may be tempted to think all we do is sit around watching TV and eating. Don’t we wish! But if you recall from posts past, we do occasionally go to festivals, read a book and dislike things.
This article about pepperoni rolls showed up in our hometown newspaper the other day, clearly reeling from the fact that the NY Times published this article a couple weeks prior, showcasing our state’s proudest invention. How did we get scooped on our own state food?? Before we’re made fools again by the likes of the “Dining and Wine” section (trust me, if there’s anywhere a pepperoni roll doesn’t belong, it’s alongside wine), let me set out West Virginia’s unique delicacies and their greatness.
Pepperoni Rolls, obviously, go first. These were invented by the wives of Italian coal miners in the early 1900s when the miners needed to eat lunch one handedly so they could still carry their pick-axes. You see, those were the days before mine goblins were eradicated and anything you set down was likely to be stolen by sneaky evil elves, and you’d better believe you had to pay for it. Not to mention spend the rest of the day mining with your teeth.
These delicious and handy little meat cocoons, best when warm, did for pepperoni what nachos did for ground beef—that is, take something that’s kind of clumsy and unsightly on it’s own and turn it into an institution.
Tudor’s Biscuit World. Really, this deserves a post on its own, and I won’t lie, I am likely to post about Tudor’s again and again. It’s that fantastic. Tudor’s houses the biscuit’s entire royal family and its subjects. They only hold court from 5:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m., so you must be timely. Changing of the guards from breakfast to lunch happens around 11, but you can eat hot delicious fresh homemade biscuit sandwiches the size of DVDs all day. Like the Ron with sausage egg and cheese; the Mickey with bacon, egg and melty cheese; the Dottie (my vegetarian friends’ favorite) with a hashbrown, egg and cheese; or if you are so inclined, a Thundering Herd with sausage, egg, a hashbrown and cheese.
The West Virginia hot dog. The hot dog isn’t really specific to WV, but the toppings are. We put chili, onions, mustard and slaw on our dogs, and that might sound weird (Chicago, New York), but we also don’t discriminate. Hot dogs are nothing to get angry about. This is not the only tasty combination out there, but it is a welcome mix of hot/cold, crunchy/soft, tangy/sweet for your tummy. On a related note, an unnamed faithful reader and I embarked on a mission this summer to sample and rate all the local hot dogs. We even documented our progress, but unfortunately the entertainment factor of said documentation was low (e.g., “chili was warm and kinda spicy,” “slaw kernels optimal size,” “chili not very good,” “bun stale,” etc.). Plus there’s already a blog out there dedicated to WV hot dogs.
Those are the only WV foods that I’m really invested in. I suppose there are more, and I can go ahead and list those but don’t expect too much enthusiasm.
Ramps: funky onions
Apple butter: who doesn’t have apple butter?
Buckwheat: see Buckwheat Fesitval
Pawpaw: sour banana