EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSAppalachian Region Food Destination Map Unveiled
from Eyewitness News Online
Reported by: Taisha Walker, Associated Press
Reported: Jul. 15, 2014 2:24 PM EDT
Updated: Jul. 15, 2014 9:20 PM EDT
Charleston , Kanawha County , West Virginia
West Virginia is well known for its pepperoni rolls. Now, the Mountain State is being put on the map for its other culinary offerings.
Appalachia cuisine is now on the culinary map. You can find 21 West Virginia food destinations in the latest edition of Food Traveler Magazine. Earl Gohl, federal co-chairman of Appalachian Regional Commission, said the Bon Appetit Appalachia map-guide makes it easier for tourists to locate great, local food destinations.
"It really brings together all the local food activities here in Appalachia and it shows folks how to get there and where they are and what they do," Gohl said.
West Virginia farmers markets, farm-to-table-restaurant, farms and wineries help make up the 283 food destinations featured on the culinary guide.
East End restauranteur Keeley Steele, who owns Tricky Fish and Blue Grass Kitchen --both featured in the guide-- said the culinary map is a great tourism tool.
"I think this is like another great avenue for people to access," Steele said. "In the last 10 years we've seen a lot of travelers daily and a lot more on the weekends. And I think they're looking for information."
Local chef Tim Urbanic, whose restaurant is also apart of the culinary guide, said the food map will likely boost the state's economy and show the rest of the nation that West Virginia cuisine can be local and garden-fresh while being diverse.
"In southern West Virginia in a lot of the coal fields, there's a lot of Polish families that moved in," said Urbanic, cuisine chef at Cafe Cimino Country Inn. "So you're seeing some of those ingredients integrated into the cuisine of the Appalachian diet and the restaurants are building on that."
Now, Appalachian cuisine is on the shelf and in the hands of potential tourists, who too can have a taste of what West Virginia has to offer.
The food guide is available in the summer edition of Food Traveler magazine.
The Appalachian Regional Commission has introduced a map of 283 food destinations in West Virginia and 12 other states.
West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and ARC federal co-chair Earl Gohl announced the Appalachian tourism map Tuesday at the Capitol Market in Charleston.
The locations from New York to Mississippi include restaurants, markets, farms and fairs. Twenty-one of them are in West Virginia.
The ARC says it's promoting the Appalachian food economy as the region continues to battle job declines in several industries, including mining, chemical and forestry.
Gohl says local food systems are growing throughout Appalachia and are making important economic contributions in rural communities.
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