It's common knowledge that the home cooking in Virginia is among the best in the country. Although our state is not the only one that serves up mouthwatering southern cuisine, we certainly know how to prepare it well. It is not hard to understand why Virginia's cuisine is considered to be among the best in the world because it features seafood and produce that cannot be topped, as well as innovative flavor combinations.

This list combines traditional dishes that are well-known throughout Virginia with a few regional specialties that are popular at restaurants located all over the state.

1.Fresh Oysters

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Virginia's oysters. Photo: Virginia's Travel Blog

Off the coast of Virginia are some of the finest oysters to be found anywhere along the East Coast. They're also the state's oldest documented dish, with references to their consumption dating back to at least 1607.

If it was good enough for the pioneers, it's good enough for us now, and we've only improved since then. Oysters were harvested at a rate of up to 8 million bushels per year in the 19th century. According to the travel, Virginia has become known as the "Oyster Capital of the East Coast" due to the wide variety of oysters available there.


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Peanuts soup. Photo: Travelawaits

Attractive and chubby Of the four types of peanuts grown in America, Virginia peanuts are the largest. The peanuts packaged and shipped from the Virginia Diner in Wakefield are famous all over the world. In 1842, a crop of peanuts was grown commercially for the first time in Virginia, not far from the town of Waverly.

Fourteen of the United States' twenty peanut processing plants were located in Virginia by 1902. The best way to see all that Peanut Country has to offer is to take The Salty Southern Route, which travels along the coast and through the southern part of Virginia.

3.Brunswick stew

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Brunswick stew. Photo: Onlyinyourstate

The meat and vegetable-based Brunswick Stew that has long warmed chilly autumn and winter days has been traced back to Brunswick County in southern Virginia. While rabbits and squirrels were used in the original preparations, chicken and pork, which have been smoked for several hours, are now more commonly used in modern variations.

Many southern gatherings wouldn't be complete without the famous stew, which is traditionally prepared in a massive cast-iron cauldron and stirred with a boat oar.

4.Appalachian Food

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Appalachian-style cuisines. Photo: Virginia

Attracted by the rugged beauty of the Blue Ridge Highlands and the Heart of Appalachia, settlers from the United Kingdom, Scotland, Germany, Hungary, and Italy reimagined traditional dishes using the foods they had grown in their new home.

Cornbread and beans, venison, wild turkey, and pumpkins fueled their pioneer activities, and pickled and canned vegetables kept them going through the winter. Today's chefs in the western part of the state honor these pioneers by cooking traditional Appalachian fare using the same methods that have been used for centuries.

5.Country ham biscuits

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Country ham biscuits. Photo: Onlyinyourstate

For years, this has been a traditional dish in the state of Virginia. It is made even tastier by the addition of the world-famous Smithfield Ham and a dab of pepper jelly.

6.Blue Crabs

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Blue Crabs. Photo: Virginia

Virginia's coastal towns along the Chesapeake Bay and Eastern Shore are known for their delicious blue crabs. Enjoy the sweet meat of steamed crabs by picking it with your bare hands at waterfront restaurants, or have it patted into cakes and served on a sandwich.

Soft shell crabs are another popular option; these tasty treats are made by chefs lightly battering and frying blue crabs that have shed their hard outer shells.

7.Pimento Cheese

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Pimento Cheese. Photo: Travelawaits

Pimento cheese, a regional specialty, can be found on the menus of many Virginia eateries. When combined with ham (another Virginia specialty), melted on toast, or spooned over savory dishes, this simple mixture of Cheddar cheese, mayonnaise, and sweet peppers is irresistible.

In Conclusion

Virginia's cuisine is as diverse as the state's scenery. From the Chesapeake Bay and Coastal Plain to the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Appalachian Plateau, each area of the state is known for its unique and delicious cuisine.

The Chesapeake Bay provides an abundance of oysters and crab, but Virginia is also well-known for its cattle herds. Southern staples such as pimento cheese and fried chicken can be found alongside an abundance of peanuts, artichokes, and blackberries grown locally.

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