by Hoy Murphy
Bringing food from the wild to the table is traditional for many West Virginia families, and is especially appropriate during the holidays when we give thanks for nature’s bounty.
The other meat
Farm-raised beef, pork and poultry are the typical meats served at holiday dinners, but in a state that has a large percentage of its population that hunts in the fall, the meal is just as likely to include venison, bear, fresh fish, wild turkey, or even wild boar.
Suppose there’s a chance you don’t want to hunt or forage or even cook wild food for your holiday meal, but you’re still curious about how it tastes. Several West Virginia restaurants offer such items on their menus, including the Bavarian Inn in Shepherdstown, Stillwaters at Stonewall Resort, and The Ember restaurant at Snowshoe Mountain Resort, among several others.
Once your have the main dish on the menu, it’s time to plan for some wild side dishes and desserts. Wild foods includes plants you can find in a field or in the woods, and that’s been a long-time specialty for Edelene Wood of Parkersburg. Wood is the founder of West Virginia’s Nature Wonder Wild Food Weekend, which began at North Bend State Park in 1968 and has continued every September since under the sponsorship of the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources.
Deer Stroganoff, Deep Fried Walleye Fillet, Black Walnut Cookies, and more can be found in our wild foods recipes section.