I too like the old word of mouth..[:) As far as the difference in a West Virginia Hillbilly and the Arkansanian ones……:
1. I think Arkansas stuck closer to the traditional food heritages such as country hams, fried okra, fried catfish etc…more down home southern type fixins’. West Virginia, mistakenly I might add, kind of betrayed it’s heritage, (food-wise) in the 70’sin order to counteract our Hillbilly image. We’ve always remained true to the arts heritages though and are returning to the traditional goodies. One traditional cooking heritage never abandoned here though…is Italian. We have festivals that honor this fine tradition and some of the best I’ve had can be found at these. One of the biggest Italian Heritage festivals occurs this weekend in the town of Clarksburg…a Labor Day tradition. Oregano and basil and tomato based sauces fill vendor stalls all over the streets of town. Tis advisable to wear a bib to this event..[:)]
In line with the above statement….comparitively….we have less Mom and Pop places except in the Italian genre. Diners have been replaced by McDonalds….Family buffetts by Shoneys etc. I do see an upswing though in recreating the lost days of good eating.
A good example of our rebirth is actually a state government run place-The Tamarack. Located on the West Virginia Turnpike in the Beckley Area, The Tamarack is the "Best Of West Virginia" Traditional artisans, glass factories, shoppes from the grand resort "The Greenbrier", and so on, all are featured there 365 days a year. You can also find a meal of fried green tomatoes, soup beans or cornbread, country ham and taters or our much touted pepperoni rolls, being savoured in the small cafes within. Also featured are many exhibits ranging from the lore of the Shay Railroad engines in the lumber camps to our local NASA activities.
As far as geographically different..our Allegheny ridges are a bit more sharp pointed than the rolling Ozarks. A wonderful site to see our mountain beauty is this…www.jonathanjessup.com. Be sure to go all through it….this man is a true artist….even if he does live in New Hampshire..[;)]
The people themselves are very alike…warm, open, and friendly. There’s a bit of laid backness in both states…..that eases one almost instantly. So y’all come on down heah, and we’ll find you the best of the best….[:D]