Mountain Flavor

Country cookin’ takes on a whole new taste here in Appalachia. Explore the interesting, sometimes offbeat cuisine of our culture. From Granny’s down-home dishes to ingredients foraged from the wild forests, explore the most unique mountain flavors of West Virginia below:

Explore WV Cuisine
  • "Sweets & Sips & Such"

    Moonshine

    We’ve been perfecting mountain moonshine for generations! Get an authentic taste of this time-honored tradition from its home in the hills. Today, you can taste classic flavors like apple pie, or unique spirits like pawpaw moonshine or sweetshine. Cheers!

  • "Mason Jar Goods"

    Jellies & jams

    Some mornings, you just want a little something sweet with your breakfast biscuits. Fresh, hand-picked berry jellies have long been a staple of Appalachian cuisine, but we’ll blend anything into a jam— veggies, beer, bacon. You name it, and we’ll make it into a creative, tasty spread fit for a country dinner roll. A few of our favorites? Hot pepper jelly and fall apple butter.

  • "Mason Jar Goods"

    Apple butter

    Apple butter is an old-time Appalachian tradition. This sweet spread is a sure sign the fall harvest is here!

  • "Country Breakfasts"

    Gravy

    What tops a tasty country biscuit best? In the morning, it’s gravy, baby! There are plenty of ways to make gravy. Sausage gravy is a mountain favorite, and the more, the better!

  • "Country Breakfasts"

    Pancakes

    Wake up with a sweet, syrupy stack of country pancakes— or flapjacks, as we call ’em. These extra-fluffy, made-from-scratch delights are delicious on their own, but fresh blueberries, chocolate chips or a fruity topping make it all the sweeter. If you want your breakfast real West Virginia style, enjoy a stack of buckwheat pancakes!

  • "Sweets & Sips & Such"

    Cobblers

    It’s like pie, with a mountain spin! Think a deeper, crisped fruit filling on the bottom, covered by a thicker, fluffier crust on top. Filled with fresh West Virginia berries, apples or other sweet fruits, cobbler tastes best warm-baked, just out of the oven!

  • "Sweets & Sips & Such"

    Pies

    The scent of fresh-baked pie is the calling card of a West Virginia kitchen! It starts with made-from-scratch crusts rolled out by hand, stuffed with apples, berries or other sweet filling, then baked to a perfect, soft golden brown!

  • "Supper"

    WV dogs

    Ketchup? Mustard? No, we do our dogs a little differently here in West Virginia! The classic “WV dog” is smothered in a meaty chili-like ‘sauce,’ lined with slaw (cole slaw), and sprinkled with thick-diced onions. That’s all it takes for that perfect mountain taste! It’s a standard list of toppings, but they do come with a lot of variety. Some have spicy chili, some have sweet slaw. Every region has its twists— and they’re all tasty!

    Restaurants

  • "Supper"

    Dumplings

    A country classic! Hearty dumplings are supposedly the cure for all ills. These broth-simmered bread pieces are soft and savory. Here, we traditionally make them with our Appalachian biscuit dough. Enjoy a serving in a hot dish of chicken n’ dumplings.

  • "Supper"

    Cornbread

    Because cornbread is a simple dish, it became a staple of Appalachian cuisine. It’s often served in place of a dinner roll, but if you add it to some beans, we call that a full country dinner!

  • "Supper"

    Pimento Cheese

    Pimento is a Southern favorite. Traditionally, it’s a cream or mayo and cheddar cheese blend, mixed with chopped slices of a specific red cherry pepper that’s extra sweet with a hint of spice. The dish took root in the Depression era, when it was a more affordable— but still delicious!— form of protein. Today, it’s a tasty sandwich or cracker topping.

  • "Supper"

    Pepperoni rolls

    The West Virginia state food! First baked in Fairmont, WV, this Italian-Appalachian snack was originally created as a convenient lunch for miners to take underground. It’s elegantly simple: a country dinner roll, stuffed with thick stick pepperoni. But when the oils bake slowly into the soft bread, you get a unique, Almost Heaven taste.

  • "Mason Jar Goods"

    Pickling

    Pickling and canning is a perfect way to preserve the fresh flavors of harvest through the winter months. Pickled veggies are a West Virginia staple, but we get creative with our pickling, too!

  • "Mason Jar Goods"

    Chow Chow

    “Chow chow” means different things in different regions, and here in West Virginia, it’s a type of pickled relish. A basic recipe uses a blend of tomatoes, cabbage, mustard seed, onions, peppers— both hot and sweet, and vinegar. Some people add cucumber and other veggies, too.

  • "Country Breakfasts"

    Biscuits

    THE country staple— buttery, fluffy biscuits. They’re perfect for soaking up sausage gravy in the morning, or topped with a heap of fresh fruit jelly.  

  • "From The Forest"

    Maple

    Fresh maple flows sweet from West Virginia’s maple trees. The thick sap can be drained each spring and winter, as it travels through the tree. You may know it best as a thick, juicy syrup to drizzle over your buckwheat pancakes, but maple flavoring can also make tasty candies, sugar and more.

  • "From The Farm"

    Honey

    Sweeten up your tea or dish the natural, old-fashioned Appalachian way. Enjoy West Virginia honey fresh from the apiary, kissed with the flavor of our colorful wildflowers. You can also taste it specially flavored, or brewed into artisanal small-batch mead, or enjoy local beeswax candles, lip balm and other products.

  • "From The Farm"

    Apples

    West Virginia’s finest fall color is gold— the golden delicious apple, which was discovered right here in the hills. Savor the sweet, crisp taste of the season with you-pick apple farms that feature apples of all sorts for your prefect country pie or fresh apple butter. 

  • "From The Farm"

    Squash

    Butternut, spaghetti, acron— every type of squash has a different flavor to enjoy. These heart veggies are ripe around harvest season, and a staple of West Virginia’s fall palate.

  • "From The Farm"

    Pumpkin

    Fall’s favorite flavor is the base of a lot of West Virginia home cooking. From fresh-baked pie to sweet pumpkin fudge, enjoy this autumn harvest treat with an Appalachian touch. Stop into a local grower to pick your own pumpkin, and enjoy corn mazes and other family fun on the farm.

  • "From The Forest"

    Paw paw

    Sometimes called the “West Virginia banana,” this is Appalachian delicacy is North America’s forgotten fruit. The tropical-style fruit tastes like a mango-banana-pineapple. In West Virginia, the paw paw was traditionally made into a sweet custard. They’re not commonly eaten today, and their short shelf life makes them all the more elusive— but you can still occasionally stumble upon this rare treat in The Mountain State.

  • "From The Forest"

    Berries

    Every West Virginia child knows the taste of wild blackberries, plucked fresh from the bush. Berry pickin’ is a right of passage in Appalachia, and the sweet reward for a full batch is the scent of Ma’s buttery berry cobbler, baking golden brown in the oven. Search the West Virginia forests, and you might uncover a patch of elderberries, blueberries, blackberries raspberries or other sweet fruit.

  • "From The Forest"

    Mushrooms

    While foragers have to be very careful about which wild fungi they pick, if you know what you’re looking for, West Virginia can be a treasure trove of flavor. A few of the tastiest mushrooms you can uncover in our forests: Morels- These honeycombed mushrooms are the most sought after, a gourmet prize in the spring. Fry them up with butter for a delectable dinner. Chanterelles- These yellow mushrooms come out in the summer, but be sure you know how to distinguish them from similar, inedible varieties! Hen of the Woods- Found mostly in the fall, this easily identifiable mushroom is large and easy to spot. Giant Puffballs- Sometimes growing more than 20 inches around, giant puffballs are a hearty find, but you have to pluck them at just the right time.

  • "From The Forest"

    Ramp

    The wild food West Virginia is most known for is the pungent ramp. Foragers love this onion onion for its bold garlicky flavor— which also comes with a strong scent!

  • "From The Forest"

    Dandelion

    Some would call it a weed. We call it a treat. Dandelion leaves make a peppery salad base, and you’ll never see these ‘nuisance’ plants quite the same one you’ve had them pan-fried. Dandelion tea is a delicacy, so add some West Virginia honey, and sip slowly as you spend a calm afternoon on the front porch rocking chair.

  • "From The Forest"

    Rhubarb

    It’s technically a vegetable, but it tastes sweet like a fruit! It pairs well with sweet apples and strawberries, but also stands alone well in pies, tarts, jams and preserves.

  • "From The Forest"

    Ginseng

    Because it takes years to replenish, you have to have a license to harvest this rare, flavorful root. Once prized for its medicinal qualities, this rare plant is still highly sought after.

  • "Wild Game & Meats"

    Trout

    Trout, West Virginia’s state fish, is also one of our favorite dishes. From smoky dips to fried filets, this tasty fish packs a unique flavor. It’s a signature ingredient for many of our finest chefs, so you can enjoy it with an upscale touch. Head out and catch your own fresh trout with local fishing outfitters.

  • "Wild Game & Meats"

    Rabbit

    Considered both a country comfort food and a mountain delicacy, rabbit is a versatile meat in West Virginia cuisine.

  • "Wild Game & Meats"

    Squirrel

    Squirrel is an old country favorite, commonly made into a hearty gravy and served with Appalachian biscuits.

  • "Wild Game & Meats"

    Venison

    In case you didn’t know, venison is another name for deer! This wild game meat has to be prepared with care to bring out its tender taste, but when you cook it just right, this lean protein is one of the mountain’s tastiest dishes.

  • "From The Farm"

    Buckwheat

    It’s only just come into vogue as a ‘superfood,’ but here in West Virginia, this tasty grain has been lining our pantries for years. The best way to eat buckwheat is cooked up on the griddle in a sweet pancake, and drizzled with mountain maple syrup.

  • "From The Farm"

    Buttermilk

    Traditional buttermilk is the liquid left behind from churning cream into butter (which of course we did by hand in the olden days). The low-fat, tart milk is said to soothe stomach aches, and makes a perfect base for flaky country biscuits.

  • "From The Forest"

    Honeysuckle

    Stumbling upon a vine of wild honeysuckle is the delight of children across Appalachia. If you pull the bottom of the flower, it produces a few drops of sweet, honey-like nectar.