Sunday, July 8, 2012

Virginia. Tasty Tasty Virginia

Not the Carrot Tree Cafe, but just around the corner is this cute little shop.
So Grau and I spent a week in Virginia. We had a blast walking around Williamsburg, Jamestown and Yorktown. History is alive and well there. Trust me.

I've never understood how people don't like history. Everyone *has* a history. And the lesson's learned, whether it be individually or en masse should always be of the utmost importance for fear of 1) making the same mistake again or 2) not continuing something that should have been.

Anyway- We did manage to eat junk while there, but we also managed to try a few specialties. Mostly of the historic kind. For instance, in Yorktown there is a restaurant called The Carrot Tree. I cannot tell you how simple and fabulous this restaurant is. It's not like they invented the sandwich or anything. But the simple foods they did prepare were either from historic recipes, or used ingredients from historic processes.

Let me explain.

A ham sandwich is just a ham sandwich, right?

Well, not at Carrot Tree. There, a ham sandwich may be served on everyday bread like white or wheat, but it uses genuine Sugar cured ham. If you've never had Sugar-cured are clearly in for a treat.  40 days of sugar and salt in a smoker. It is to *die-for.* Literally. Melt in your mouth, not too sweet, not salty. Just the perfect blend of all three (sugar, salt & smoke). The bread is fine, but the meat is better! (BTW- if you want a great Virginia Sugar-Cured Ham, try the Smithfield Ham Company- it's about $16 a pound.)

So that's what I mean. Either a historic recipe, or an ingredient prepared in the historic manner.

Anyway- what I  meant to divulge is that I came home with the great desire to reproduce several recipes of dishes I tasted while traveling around Virginia.
Like Yogurt Mint Sauce, Buttermilk biscuits with Salt-Cured Ham and chutney dressing and a couple more.
Yes, I know there are modern recipes for them. But I want to make my own recipe following the historic guidelines.

Today- it's chutney dressing. I'll let you know how it turns out. Who knows, it could be a humongous flop!!


  1. Oh, there's nothing like a good Virginia ham! Can't wait to hear how the chutney turns out. Yum!

  2. I agree! Virginia ham is fabulous. I think it's the sugar-curing and 40 days thing....anything that takes that long *must* be worth it. :)