Sure, the grocery store might have what you need for the holiday dinner, but what fun is that? Get out of town or at least support the local shops for some great Virginia-made products.
Is ham on your list? There’s no place to go but Smithfield for the real deal. Right on Main Street you’ll find Taste of Smithfield, a restaurant and store. Sample the wares, enjoy a nice lunch and bring home the bacon. Yep, they have that, too.
Flours are a necessity for baking and you can purchase it freshly ground from local millers like Jim Young at Wade’s Mill in Raphine or Steve Roberts at Woodson’s Mill in Roseland. Gift sets are available from each mill as well.
Virginia peanuts are renowned and you can get them from a few places. They’re perfect for gift-giving and pre-dinner munching.
- Hubbard Peanut Company (Hubs), Sedley
- The Good Earth Peanut Company, Skippers
- The Peanut Patch (Feridies), Courtland
- Whitley Peanuts – two locations: Gloucester and Williamsburg
- Virginia Diner, Wakefield
- Zuni Gourmet Peanuts, Zuni
Virginia is experiencing an explosive re-birth of its oyster industry and has been dubbed the Oyster Capital of the East Coast thanks to being the largest farm-raised oyster producing state in the country. Lovers of the succulent delicacy can choose from seven salinity regions and get their take fresh from the water.
If you find yourself expanding the menu for more seafood than just oysters, let it be known that Wachapreague is the Flounder Capital of the World.
On to the beverages!
Apple cider is a favorite holiday treat and Virginia has a burgeoning cider industry – both hard and not.
In the Blue Ridge Highlands you can visit Foggy Ridge Cider, the 2012 Cooking Light Taste Test Award Winner. Growing American heirloom apples as well as French and English cider apples, the cidermaker, Diane Flynt, manipulates the harvest as little as possible to create three ciders and a cider + apple brandy blend.
Additional Cideries and Orchards:
- Albemarle CiderWorks, North Garden
- Bold Rock Cidery, Wintergreen
- Castle Hill Cidery, Keswick
- Morris Orchard, Monroe
- Potter’s Craft Cider, Free Union
- Old Hill Cider, Timberville
- The Shenandoah Cider Company, Winchester
- Windy Hill Orchards, Ararat
Enjoy the season of cooking and travel!
LOVE is at the heart of every Virginia vacation. Virginia is for Lovers.