October 1, 2018 12:00 noon
Heap your plate high with good food in The Mountain State.
1. By Eddie Trizzino | Times West Virginian
West Virginia Times
: http://www.timeswv.com/news/state-plate ... 642f3.html
FAIRMONT – The first thing Taylor Hicks noticed when he came to West Virginian was its similarity to his home state.
The American Idol winner hails from Alabama and saw every corner of the country while on his promotional tour. He remembers West Virginia because of its familiar, mountainous terrain.
“I did the Idol tour in West Virginia,” Hicks, the host of State Plate, said. “There’s a lot of similarities between West Virginia and Alabama. A lot of coal mining and even a little bit of the terrain is really similar.”
Hicks returned to West Virginia, and more specifically, Fairmont, for another taste of the state. His experience with Fairmont and its signature export, pepperoni rolls, have been documented and will be broadcast on his INSP show “State Plate.”
“We put a plate of food together that’s just iconic to that state,” Hicks said. “We have such a really wonderful production crew and research team. And we really try to go to the heart of the state and find those foods that are just iconic to that state.”
“State Plate” follows Hicks as he travels city to city and state to state trying the local notable cuisine from each. In the upcoming episode, Hicks traveled to the Country Club Bakery to take part in the pepperoni rolls’ journey, from creation to the last bite.
“You’ve got to get up really early to get those rolls going,” Hicks said. “I definitely get my hands dirty in the kitchen. I’ve been a restauranteur for a good seven or eight years now and I love it; it’s a passion.”
Hicks said he got to the bakery at around 5 a.m. to begin working with the dough to make the rolls. After a few hours of preparing and baking, they were ready to eat. Hicks looked back on his tasting positively.
“That’s a delicacy,” Hicks said. “I had a great time in West Virginia and really enjoyed making the rolls with that family.”
Also as part of the format of the show, the episode will tell the story behind the food to give viewers nationwide an idea of the culture of the city and the meaning of each food.
“It’s a great story and that’s one of the things we love to dig into on the show,” Hicks said. “It’s to find that history and those great stories, and that pepperoni roll is definitely one of them.”
For Hicks, the experience was memorable for more than just the food, as Fairmont and its people lived up to the name "Friendly City.”
“They were so nice and accommodating,” Hicks said. “I just love going around and really talking to all the people in these different states that have this wonderful iconic food.”
2. Former 'American Idol' champ explores some of WV's signature foods
By Bill Lynch Staff writer
https://www.wvgazettemail.com/life/food ... user-share
On Monday at noon, West Virginia gets its turn on culinary travel show “State Plate,” hosted by Taylor Hicks, season five “American Idol” champion.
On the program from the INSP television channel, Hicks visits different U.S. states looking for popular local dishes to taste.
“We try to find those iconic foods that are iconic to that state,” he said.
Sometimes, these are dishes that the rest of the nation knows little to nothing about and Hicks said they try to get to the source of where the dishes come from and get the stories of how they came to be.
Through the program, the singer visits docks, farms and ranches, as well as restaurants that have a close tie to the food Hicks will taste.
“We just want to expose the food,” Hicks said.
It’s been a great project for the performer who bragged about his southern palette. He enjoyed the travel and the trying new things, but he acknowledged he had some favorites.
“Maine was great, if just for the lobster,” he said. “And Alaska was very interesting.”
In the 49th state, Hicks ate Reindeer Dogs and pickled kelp, among other local delicacies.
In West Virginia, he said, there really wasn’t a choice of what he had to try.
“No question,” Hicks said. “I did a pepperoni roll. That’s a big, iconic West Virginia thing.”
And kind of unique. Pepperoni rolls haven’t really caught on around the country.
Hicks got his pepperoni roll came from the Country Club Bakery in Fairmont, which was started by coalminer-turned-baker Guissippi Argiro in 1927.
Argiro is said to have created the first pepperoni roll based off what his fellow Italian mineworkers brought to the mines for lunch –a hunk of bread, a hunk of pepperoni and a jug of water.
The singer said he enjoyed his pepperoni roll.
“I love Italian stuff, but to have a big, Italian roll with pepperoni was great,” he said.
Hicks said he also tried a Golden Delicious apple dumpling, made with the state’s official apple.
“That was divine,” he said.
Entertainer Taylor Hicks tastes his way across West Virginia, in search of the state’s most iconic foods. First, he rolls in before dawn to roll out some tasty pepperoni rolls. Next, Taylor visits a hatchery where the native brook trout is raised and released. Then, he scavenges the countryside for the wild and spicy, onion-like ramp. Later, Taylor puts some muscle into churning raw milk into tangy buttermilk biscuits. Finally, he bakes a dumpling from the state fruit: a Golden Delicious apple. It’s a heaping helping of wild, wonderful West Virginia, as we taste the Mountain State’s most celebrated foods.
Appetizer: Pepperoni Rolls
Country Club Bakery https://www.countryclubbakery.net/
The pepperoni roll is a snack popular in West Virginia and some nearby regions of the Appalachian Mountains such as Western Pennsylvania, Western Maryland, and Appalachian Ohio. It is ubiquitous in West Virginia, particularly in convenience stores, and is arguably the food most closely associated with the state
Founded in the 1920's by Guiseppi Argesio ,
the pepperoni roll has been a staple in his bakery . They sell 1 million rolls a year.......200 to 400 dozen a day depending on the day.
1. You punch the air out of the dough with your fists. 2. the dough goes into a divider machine 3. The dough is left to rise 4. Three julienne strips of pepperoni are added to the dough 5. Bake in a 500 degree oven for 12 minutes.
The bottom of the pepperoni rolls are greasy from the juice that seeps from the meat.
Entrée: Brook Trout
Edray Fish Hatchery
Fly fishing is prevalent in West Virginia , so the Brook Trout ( native to the State ) need to be replenished. Hatcheries are used to raise the trout that are returned to the lakes when large enough.
Trout can be cooked many ways, but in W.V. they are soaked in buttermilk and coated with crumbs and pan fried.
Side 1: Ramps & Onions
Clayton Rawl Farms
Allium tricoccum is a North American species of wild onion widespread across eastern Canada and the eastern United States. Many of the English names are also used for other Allium species, particularly the similar Allium ursinum which is native to Europe and Asia. Ramps are extremely strong: Taylor didn't seem to enjoy the taste of raw ramps
Dice and saute in bacon grease.
and they are delicious.
Side 2: Buttermilk Biscuits & Gravy
Perk Farm Organic
It is the buttermilk that makes the biscuit........... 1. churn the milk in a hand churner for about 40 minutes.
The milk and butter will separate. Use the milk ( now called buttermilk ) to make the biscuits ..
Dessert: Apple Dumplings
JoLynn Powers https://jolynnsmountainmama.wordpress.com/
Peeling Apples :
Us Golden Delicious Apples; they are good for cooking
1. Take the whole peeled apple
2. Use a melon corer to take out the core , keeping the apple whote.
3. Cover with brown sugar, butter, and cinnamon
4. Wrap dough around the apple
5. Bake for 45 minutes in a 350 oven .
6. Put caramel onto the baked apple.
Entree and Sides:
FUN FOOD FACTS:
1. West Virginia is known as the mountain state because the entire State is in the Appalachian Mountain Range
2. Coal was discovered in W.V. in 1741
3. Trout are feed in the hatcheries ..........the amount depends on the weight of the fish, so they are all grouped together by weight .
4. The ramp only grow for a few weeks in the spring .
5. The Golden Delicious Apple was found as a hybrid , but nobody knows how it developed.