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A Taste of West Virginia at Green Bank Gallery

by Rich Laska

Contributing Writer

Folks who think Appalachian Outlaws is the best of mountain culture would be astounded by the range of specialty foods produced in the Mountain State.

Taste for yourself.

Come to the Green Bank Gallery on Saturday, May 3, from 2 to 4 p.m. for a free sampling of West-Virginia-made foods.

Those foods include jerky, pickles, sauces, coffee and the rich, deep flavor of Fort Warwick Maple Syrup.

The syrup is made in Green Bank by Bob and Elaine Sheets who tap maple trees on their farm near the NRAO. Unlike commercial products, Fort Warwick syrup is boiled down the old fashioned way – over a wood fire in the Sheets’ custom-built sugar shack.

A different flavor sensation comes from the jerky and barbecue sauces from Mountain Mama’s in Fairmont. Their habanero ketchup can fire up a burger.

Uncle Bunk’s of Sistersville makes some of the crispest, fresh-tasting sweet pickles you can buy.

You’ll be surprised by the flavor punch their pickles pack. And, if you want deviled eggs to taste like they came fresh from the inferno’s own kitchen, Uncle Bunk’s hot mustard does the job.

Roasting coffee is an art and a science. Roasting beans a few degrees too hot, or a few seconds too long will ruin the flavor. Using beans from around the world, Mountain Roasters of Buckhannon roasts excellent coffee. On Saturday, stop by and sample some of their popular roasts.

As for dessert, there’s nothing quite like Tazo’s stone-ground chocolate with its tiny bits of crunchy cacao bean. Unfortunately the small, specialty chocolate company is located in New England. The chocolate is so unique we wish it were made here.

To feed your curiosity, laser woodcrafter Mike Pizzino will demonstrate and explain the complexity of laser woodcutting. Pizzino’s work is on display in the Green Bank Gallery.

As the summer grilling season draws near, it’s good to know we have a neighborhood source for unique, delicious, local-prepared foods. If this keeps up, some day Mountaineers will be as popular on Food Paradise as we are on Mountain Monsters!

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