Kentucky News

What food is Kentucky famous for?

Kentucky’s Culinary Heritage: A Taste of the Bluegrass State

When it comes to American regional cuisine, Kentucky’s offerings are as rich and varied as the state’s history. Known for its rolling hills, thoroughbred horses, and bourbon, Kentucky also boasts a unique culinary scene that tantalizes the taste buds of locals and visitors alike.

The Signature Kentucky Fried Chicken

At the heart of Kentucky’s food fame is the iconic Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC). Colonel Harland Sanders, the founder of KFC, began selling his secret recipe chicken during the Great Depression at a roadside restaurant in Corbin, Kentucky. His blend of 11 herbs and spices has since become a global phenomenon, but it’s in Kentucky where it all started.

Bourbon and Burgoo

Beyond fried chicken, Kentucky is synonymous with bourbon. With more barrels of bourbon than people, this distilled spirit is deeply woven into the state’s fabric. Bourbon is not only savored in glasses but also features in the local cuisine, with dishes like bourbon-glazed meats and bourbon-infused desserts.

Kentucky’s burgoo, a hearty stew made with a mix of meats and vegetables, is another staple. Traditionally cooked in large pots to feed community gatherings, burgoo is a symbol of Kentucky hospitality and culinary collaboration.

Derby Delights

The Kentucky Derby, the state’s premier horse racing event, brings with it the famous Derby PieĀ®, a chocolate and walnut tart in a pie shell, and the refreshing mint julep cocktail, both of which have become synonymous with Kentucky’s food scene.


Q: What makes Kentucky Fried Chicken unique?
A: The unique blend of 11 herbs and spices in the original recipe is what sets Kentucky Fried Chicken apart.

Q: Can bourbon be used in cooking?
A: Yes, bourbon is often used in Kentucky cuisine, both in savory dishes and desserts for its rich, smoky flavor.


Bourbon: A type of American whiskey, primarily made from corn and aged in new charred oak barrels, that is strongly associated with Kentucky.
Burgoo: A thick stew made from a variety of meats and vegetables, traditionally served at social gatherings in Kentucky.
Derby PieĀ®: A registered trademark for a chocolate and walnut tart, associated with the Kentucky Derby.