It’s the perfect time of year to look at the hills! We’re talking about the hills of Appalchia, where some of this year’s best foods originated. Whether you like your holiday season snow covered, quietly tucked into a ravine, or with the merriment of city life, Appalachia has it all–and the cuisine to match. Here’s why we’ve identified it as something to watch, and definitely something to inspire your menu this Christmas!
First, after years of urbanization and industrial design, more people are beginning to explore life outside of the city. The rustic design boom has migrated into a lifestyle, and city-dwelling consumers are curious.
Next, consider all the buzz around “heirloom recipes.” These foods of our parents and grandparents have spawned our love of heirloom recipes—those that either exist as handwritten or spoken word and have been handed down through families. As heirloom recipes continue to grow in popularity, they are helping to expose unique areas of American cuisine and windows into different ways of life.
As if that weren’t enough, local has become more niche, and something called “region-local” has appeared, helping to not only break parts of the country into niche food and culture areas but also into cuisine types and variants. Handmade and handcrafted booms have led people to look back at old recipes and question “how did we do it then,” which has led to the culinary exploration of life in harsher environments such as the mountains. The concept of handmade is evolving alongside the story of food, and people are looking for new recipes with which to get their hands dirty!
The story of food is becoming as important as ingredients themselves, and as American cuisine evolves, people are exploring storied areas across the country. This includes Appalachia, where there are menu items that we may all have been missing out on (just wait until you sample our Baking Powder Biscuits with Blackberry Thyme Butter–or a piece of ham sandwiched in!). Beyond rustic, there’s a push for simplicity in food when everything else seems to be over the top. This is simple, homegrown food that takes us back to our roots, wherever those roots may be.
In our years of providing great food content from The Food Channel, we’ve explored coastal, Midwestern, rural and city foods throughout America, but never really devoted much culinary exploration to mountain America. It is a new, but still familiar, dining experience, and one we hope you enjoy this Christmas season by experimenting with the recipes below.
Candied Orange Slices & Orange Syrup
Refrigerator Pickled Green Beans
Smoked Ham with Country Apple Butter Glaze
Baking Powder Biscuits with Blackberry Thyme Butter