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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: Expert

Home Town: Colonial Heights, Virginia, USA
Living In: Prince George, Virginia, USA
About me:
I am Mom to a beautiful 3 1/2 year old little girl, married to my soul mate and I love my career- Im a defense lawyer and part time prosecutor all rolled into one! In my down time, cooking is my hobby!

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Andrea Schockley 

Home Town: Haymarket, Virginia, USA
Living In: Bealeton, Virginia, USA
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Sara Myers Gross 

Cooking Level: Intermediate
Living In: Stafford, Virginia, USA

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Newest Reviews

Baked Boursin® and Apple Pancakes

Reviewed on Jan. 28, 2015 by It's A New Day   view full review
I'm not sure why this is called a pancake or why the title says "Pancakes" since you are...

Easy Blackberry Crumble Cake

Reviewed on Jan. 27, 2015 by pomplemousse   view full review
Pretty good. I used cranberries instead of blackberries--what I had--but quadrupled the...

Banana Muffins II

Reviewed on Jan. 27, 2015 by Holiday Baker   view full review
These bake up very nicely. I topped the muffins with chopped walnuts, which I highly suggest...

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