Food in Virginia

A culinary adventure awaits if you plan to taste the rich and colorful cuisine of Virginia.

Virginia farmers raise cattle, chickens and turkeys. Their crops include potatoes, sweet potatoes, peanuts and apples. 

The boats fish mainly oysters and crab. The Chesapeake Bay is home to some of the freshest seafood around. From oysters and crab cakes to shrimp and clams, there's no shortage of delicious seafood and seafood dishes in Virginia. Not only that, the first settlers who settled in Jamestown initially survived by eating oysters that they could catch in the James River.

The manufacture of processed foods is an important industry and, having cattle, dairy products stand out. Virginia also processes a large amount of seafood and fish, although this fact is not well known.

Virginia's food and drink

In addition to the typical dishes of Southern cuisine, among the favorite foods of Virginians include barbecued crab cake sandwiches, Virginia ham, oysters, ham cake and a variety of pork and corn preparations known as hog and hominy. Hamburgers and hot dogs and beer are the food you take to a picnic.

Among the vegetables that are most eaten, it is worth mentioning okra, green cabbage leaves, mask beans, green beans and corn cobs. Cornbread is srive with almost every dish.

Desserts can be walnut pie, pecans, or peach cake.

Breakfast favorites are bacon, sausage, ham, potatoes, southern cookies, biscuits with sauce and porridge.

Virginia is also home to some must-try regional specialties. Make sure you try a traditional peanut soup, an Appalachian favorite that's served with hot sauce; Brunswick stew, a hearty and flavorful stew that the locals claim originated in Brunswick County.

Virginia ham is famous. It has a special flavor because the feeding of the pigs includes peanuts, in addition to the treatment that the ham receives. The hams are first cured with salt and then smoked on American walnut wood. Finally, the surface of the ham is rubbed with pepper and hung to mature for a minimum of six months. Smithfield ham, one of the most sought-after hams in the world thanks to its unique curing process. 

The first known tomato ketchup recipe appeared in the cookbook The Virginia Housewife in 1824. That recipe included tomato, vinegar, and mushrooms or nuts. Nowadays no mushrooms or nuts are added to tomato ketchup.

The Old Dominion

Capital: Richmond

State bird: Northern cardinal

State insect: Tiger swallowtail butterfly

State tree: Flowering dogwood

Recipes from Virginia

Brunswick stew

Virginia ham with cherry sauce

Food events and places to see

The Oyster Festival, Urbanna, is held annually in November.

Richmond, Virginia is renowned for its tasty barbecue offerings, and the city has plenty of restaurants to choose from.

Thomas Jefferson, a Virginian, is sometimes described as the first American gourmet. Many people considered tomatoes to be harmful foods until Thomas Jefferson tried them and declared them to be edible and very tasty. It is also said that it was he who introduced Italian pasta to the United States when returning from a trip to Italy with a machine to make macaroni.

Queen Victoria of England was very fond of Virginia ham and received six pieces each week.