Kentucky State Official Food: A Blend of Tradition and Flavor
In a move that celebrates its rich culinary heritage, Kentucky has designated the Hot Brown as its official state food. This savory dish, which originated at the Brown Hotel in Louisville during the 1920s, has become synonymous with Kentucky’s comfort food scene. The Hot Brown is an open-faced turkey sandwich, traditionally topped with bacon, tomatoes, and a generous pour of Mornay sauce, then broiled until golden and bubbly.
The decision to honor the Hot Brown comes as no surprise to food enthusiasts and locals, who have long cherished the dish for its hearty flavors and its embodiment of Southern hospitality. The state’s culinary landscape is a tapestry of such traditions, where food is not just sustenance but a reason for gathering and celebration.
Q: What exactly is the Hot Brown?
A: The Hot Brown is an open-faced sandwich featuring turkey and bacon, covered in Mornay sauce—a white cheese sauce—and baked or broiled until the sauce is bubbly and starting to brown.
Q: Why was the Hot Brown chosen as the state food?
A: The Hot Brown was chosen due to its unique Kentucky origins, its popularity, and its representation of the state’s culinary tradition.
Q: Are there other foods that Kentucky is known for?
A: Yes, Kentucky is also known for its bourbon, Kentucky Fried Chicken, burgoo (a spicy stew), and Derby Pie, among other regional specialties.
– Mornay Sauce: A béchamel sauce (white sauce made from a roux of butter and flour cooked in milk) with added cheese, typically Gruyère or Parmesan.
– Roux: A mixture of fat (especially butter) and flour used in making sauces.
– Béchamel Sauce: A white sauce made with milk infused with herbs and other flavorings, thickened with a roux.