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Virginia Foods - Specialty Foods of Virginia

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Virginia is known for a variety of foods, most notably its succulent seafood and award-winning wines. With its diverse geography stretching from the coastal areas of the Chesapeake Bay to the mountain regions along the Shenandoah Valley, the Commonwealth of Virginia is home to more than 47,000 farms. Agriculture is the state’s largest industry. Following is a guide to the specialty foods of Virginia.

Virginia Wine

Photo © Virginia Tourism Corp.
Virginia's wine industry has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years both in prestige and in numbers of wineries. Virginia has more than 200 wineries - and counting - with locations in nearly every part of the Commonwealth. The region offers many wine and food festivals encouraging tourism and the discovery of local grapes and gourmet cuisine. Chardonnay is the most widely produced wine in the state, followed by Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Vidal. Read more about Virginia Wine.

Virginia Seafood

Photo © Bill Crabtree Jr./Virginia Tourism Corporation
Although the Blue Crab is widely known as the “Maryland crab”, Virginia is the nation's third largest seafood producer and its watermen thrive on the harvesting of blue crabs, oysters, clams, sea scallops, croaker, striped bass, spot, flounder, catfish and many other species of fish. Tangier Island, located on the Eastern Shore of Virginia, is referred to as the 'soft shell crab capital of the world'. The Virginia oyster, also known as Eastern or Atlantic oysters, is designated as the state shell of Virginia.

Related Information
  • Virginia Marine Products Board
  • Seafood Restaurants in the Washington DC Area
  • Virginia Peanuts

    Photo © Lars Klove
    The Tidewater area of Virginia is famous for peanuts. Virginia peanuts are the largest of the four peanut types grown in the United States. Peanuts are a high protein and naturally low sodium food that makes a great snack. They are sold by local companies in a variety of styles: roasted-in-the-shell, salted, unsalted, seasoned with Old Bay, Smoked Cajun, Chili Lime, Mesquite Barbecue and more.

    Virginia Peanut Vendors
  • Whitleys Peanut Factory
  • The Peanut Shop of Williamsburg
  • Virginia Diner
  • Virginia Favorites, Ltd.
  • Plantation Peanuts of Wakefield
  • Feridies
  • Virginia Ham

    Photo © Matt Bowney
    Virginia country hams have been famous since the 17th century. Most famous are the Smithfield Hams, which, by law, must be cured within Smithfield's town limits. Country hams are salt cured, slowly hickory smoked, and aged for several months to give it a distinctive flavor. Related meats like bacon and sausage are also local favorites.

    Virginia Ham Vendors
  • Smithfield Hams
  • Smithfield Marketplace
  • Virginia Traditions
  • Old Virginia Ham Shop
  • Virginia Produce

    Photo © Rachel Cooper
    Virginia farmers grow a variety of fruits and vegetables. Below is a list of typical Virginia products.

    Apples, Asian Pears, Asparagus, Beets, Blackberries, Blueberries, Broccoli, Cabbage, Cantaloupes, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Grapes, Green Beans, Greens/Spinach, Herbs, Nectarines, Onions, Peaches, Peppers, Potatoes, Pumpkins, Raspberries, Squash, Strawberries, Sweet Corn, Sweet Potatoes, Tomatoes, Watermelons

    Related Information
  • Virginia Farmers Markets
  • Pick Your Own Farms in Virginia
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