List of Kentucky’s Most Famous Dishes Includes One Oddball
When it comes to Kentucky's most famous foods, we don't have to look too far for a couple of them around here, since they're a stone's throw from most of us.
I'm talking, of course, about mutton and burgoo.
As a kid, whenever my dad would say we're going for barbecue, he meant mutton. WE meant mutton. Always. Yes, everything else that Owensboro barbecues is also amazing, but you can't get mutton just anywhere, as we know.
A couple of years ago, I did a little research into why mutton became standard barbecue fare in Owensboro and it was because of sheep overpopulation, which makes sense.
As for burgoo, you might find it on menus outside of Owensboro AND Kentucky, but it better be called Brunswick Stew, because it's not likely to have any mutton in it. And, as far as I'm concerned, if there's no mutton, it's not burgoo.
But mutton and burgoo are but TWO of the foods mentioned on a list I found of Kentucky's most famous dishes. Most of them make sense. And there are a couple that, while I'm not sure I've ever associated them specifically with Kentucky, DO sound amazing.
But one just jumps right off of TheSpruceEats.com page at me and that's benedictine spread. It's a combination of cucumbers, cream cheese, onion juice and a little green food coloring. Honestly, it doesn't really sound all that bad. And if you wanted it healthier, you could switch out the cream cheese for Greek yogurt. But then, I guess, you'd have tzatziki. No, you need to stick with the cream cheese, I suppose, to make "uniquely" Kentucky. Thing is, I've never once associated THAT dip with THIS commonwealth. It doesn't seem to fit, even if I would polish off a serving of it with some Triscuits.
Anyway, that was the weird one. The ones I expected to see--derby pie, mint julep, bourbon balls, the Kentucky hot brown--are all there. As are less obvious selections like Kentucky bread pudding with bourbon sauce (I want some now, Lord) and wilted lettuce salad.
Now, my mom used to make that last one and it does sound sensational; I LOVE hot bacon dressing. Great day in the morning! I just didn't know that it was Kentucky-centric.
Who cares? We'll take it. Hey, I'll take all of it. Anyone want to join me for a 10-course meal?
Oh and, by the way, in case you need something to wash all that down with...