6 Must-Taste Foods

in the Kentucky Appalachians Region

A tablescape of traditional foods of the Kentucky Appalachians region

Long known for its rugged, scenic beauty, the Kentucky Appalachians region is gaining prominence as a culinary destination as well as an outdoors one. There is a deep appreciation of the food that is cooked here, including the traditional Appalachian recipes that have been handed down from generation to generation. Here are some of the favorite regional dishes to try while you're here: 

1. Salmon Patties

There’s very little, if anything, fancy about salmon patties, a dish that countless kids came of age eating in Eastern Kentucky. Salmon, mayo, onion, egg, cornmeal and flour blend beautifully to create an inexpensive-yet-satisfying entrée, equally good baked or fried. Crushed saltines can provide a real Southern touch and an extra-crispy crust, too.

2. Soup Beans with Cornbread 

A person dips cornbread into a bowl of soup beans

Often a popular main dish, traditional soup beans and cornbread also make a great appetizer or side to a meal in this region. The soups beans are even better when they’ve been cooked all day with a chunk of ham, and cornbread is best served warm from the oven. 

Try this Recipe: Wallace Station Buttermilk Cornbread

3. Fried Potatoes

Old family traditions have remained solid in the Kentucky Appalachians, such as slicing and frying up some spuds. Fried potatoes are a good addition to breakfast, lunch or dinner, but especially if you plan to have soup beans and cornbread. 

4. Cucumber-Tomato Salad 

Garden-fresh vegetables make a great addition to any meal, and that’s especially true here in the Kentucky Appalachians region. A simple symphony of cut-up cucumbers, tomatoes and onions get bathed in Italian dressing to create a crunchy side of cucumber-tomato salad. You might even enjoy it as a snack on its own!

5. Blackberry Jam CakeClose-up shot of a slice of blackberry jam cake 

A blackberry jam cake with caramel icing is traditional to its oh-so-moist core. This combination of seedless blackberry jam, cocoa, sugar, raisins, nutmeg, cinnamon and just a hint of vanilla is an all-time favorite indulgence in the mountains of Kentucky.

Try this Recipe: Kentucky Blackberry Jam Cake

6. Coffee

Some locals in the region firmly believe that you just can’t end a meal without a cup of coffee. Simple? Sure. But the simplest things in life are often the best, and it doesn’t get any better than a cup of freshly brewed, piping-hot coffee to wash down that jam cake. 

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