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Named after Queen Elizabeth I of England, the Virgin Queen, Virginia was the longest settled of the original Thirteen Colonies. In 1607, more than a dozen years before the pilgrims arrived in southern Massachusetts, a fledgling community, known as Jamestown, was established in Virginia. The early going was hard, and the colony was nearly abandoned, but the early Virginians learned to adapt and assimilate native foods into their diet. Corn became a critical food, both in the form of cornbread and grits for the settlers and as fodder for their hogs. Native Americans taught early Virginians to smoke meats. Today, Virginia remains renowned for smoked Smithfield country hams. Other Virginia favorites include such Southern classics as biscuits, grits, and red-eye gravy, and plump Virginia peanuts. The oyster is Virginia’s official state shellfish; the brook trout, its official state fish. And Virginia’s wine industry, Thomas Jefferson would be thrilled to know, has finally caught fire. Virginia’s nickname, the Old Dominion, refers back obscurely to the 17th century, when the colony stood faithful as one of the king’s loyal dominions during the English Civil War.

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Featured Cook

Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: Springfield, Virginia, USA
About me:
I am a happily married woman who loves to cook just about anything! I have relocated to the Panhandle of Florida and living in the South is quite a different culinary experience! My friends swear that I will love being a southern belle, but I was born in MA, and there will always be something special about cold winter days... My husband and I love to travel so we really enjoy trying spicy and exotic foods from other lands. My favorite place to travel (hands down) is Israel. Love, love, love middle eastern food. Over the last couple of years, my husband and I have decided on the importance of healthy eating. So we have had to relearn what we thought was "healthy" (read: goodbye diet soda!) Now we have a little one and I am more determined then ever to eat good, wholesome foods without sacrificing taste. But don't be fooled...I do LOVE some of the desserts from this site!!

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Carol Thomas 

Home Town: Richmond, Virginia, USA
Living In: Wytheville, Virginia, USA
Photo by Ruth Gibson

Ruth Gibson 

Home Town: Buchanan, Virginia, USA
Photo by Nancy Cerutti

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Newest Reviews

Coconut Poke Cake

Reviewed on May 28, 2015 by Karen Dee   view full review
My family and I loved this recipe but I made the cake twice - I had to toss the first attempt....

Sean's Falafel and Cucumber Sauce

Reviewed on May 28, 2015 by Iblafin   view full review
I followed the recipe exactly up until the frying part. I formed the balls, pressed them into...

Chewy Brownie Cookies

Reviewed on May 28, 2015 by Karen   view full review
I have made these several times now. Everybody LOVES them. I make them into brownie ice...

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