Peak-of-the-season flavor isn’t a one-of-a-kind experience in Virginia’s Shenandoah County, it’s a way of life. Here, farm-to-table isn’t an elite experience reserved for white tablecloth dining. You can simply rip open a bag of potato chips. Farms dot the Shenandoah County landscape, a breathtakingly beautiful area in northwestern Virginia nestled between the Allegheny and Massanutten Mountains and lapped by the North Fork of the Shenandoah River. Rich soil, fresh air, clean water and farmers’ skillful traditions help make this the state’s fifth most productive agricultural region.
All of us here at Foodie Travel USA wish everyone a very happy Thanksgiving. We’d like to take this opportunity to say a simple “thank you” for reading our posts. We hope you enjoy reading it as much as we enjoy putting it together and digging into flavors from coast to coast. While gearing up for the holiday, some of us stopped to reflect and share memories, insights and even some home-cooking tips from past Thanksgivings.
Dressing or stuffing? Pumpkin or sweet potato pie? Brine, baste, roast or deep-fry the bird? What you consider to be the “correct” answer to these and other culinary questions about our nation’s annual Thanksgiving feast depend largely on where you live.
The phrase “As American as apple pie” has a lot of meaning to the farmers of Central Pennsylvania. Each fall, local orchards burst with apples of many colors and tastes: 72 different apple varieties grow in this region! One family has made the art of growing and selling apples their business for the last 63 years. On a 500-acre farm in Biglerville, Penn., four generations of the Hollabaugh family tend the land to produce enough apples for their own market as well as for wholesalers who buy half of the 100,000 bushels they harvest each year.
With Virginia Wine Month on the horizon in October—the peak month in the Old Dominion for fall foliage—we’ve got grape-sipping and leaf-peeping on the brain. A couple of decades ago, Virginia wine was an oxymoron. Today, with more than 250 wineries and dozens of wine trails Virginia is now one of America’s top-producing wine states. Particularly known for its Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and red blends, Virginia also produces excellent Viognier and Chardonnay white wines. During wine month, most of Virginia’s wineries host special events from wine dinners and tastings to live music and multi-day festivals.
It’s that time of year again, when we deck out in red, white and blue to celebrate our nation’s independence. Virginia is indisputably the birthplace of our country: it’s home to the first permanent colony of settlers at Jamestown and played a leading role in the American Revolution. Nicknamed the “mother of presidents,” Virginia was also the birthplace of eight of our leaders, including George Washington, our first president, and Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence and our third president—who not only played a role in the birth of our country, he helped give birth to modern American cuisine.