Posted in: Louisville Information, Louisville Real Estate, What to do in Louisville, Author: Younger Group (July 3, 2012)
With July 4th approaching, you may be planning an all-American feast of hotdogs, hamburgers, fried chicken, and apple pie, washed down with some local beers. Just in case you’re wondering, what are the real “all-American” foods of Louisville?
Louisville is a town for foodies, where you can experience delicious well-prepared food in home kitchens and in the many fine restaurants all around town. Our cuisine has Southern roots, so fried chicken, fried catfish and hush puppies, and country fried steak are popular main dishes, with sides of green beans, greens. Pinto beans, fried green tomatoes, cheese grits, or fried okra. We love barbeque, especially with our favorite local sauce, with a vinegar based tang.
Over the years, we have become known for a few Louisville classics that might not be on your menu July 4th but will surely hit your table throughout the year:
Hot Brown – Created at the Brown hotel in 1926, the Hot Brown is an open-faced chicken and bacon sandwich, covered in Mornay cheese sauce. You still order it at the Brown, but the original and variations are available everywhere. It’s also easy to make at home.
Derby Pie© – Similar to pecan pie, Derby Pie as pioneered by the Kern family contains chocolate chips. Orginally made the Melrose in Prospect, KY, the name is trademarked and secret, but there are many variations of dessert which include caramel, butterscotch, and other kinds of nuts. If you eat anything not made by Kern’s Kitchen, you can’t call it Derby Pie© or risk a lawsuit
Benedictine spread – Restaurateur and cater Jennie Benedict created this cucumber and cream cheese spread early in the last century. Flavored with a hint of onion and tined green with food coloring, the spread is a staple at cocktail parties and is used as a filling for hollowed out baked potatoes or when enhanced with sour cream, as a dipping sauce for raw vegetable
Mint Julep – The official drink of the Kentucky Derby since 1938, the combination of Kentucky bourbon, mint leaves, and crushed ice is popular year round, as long as you can get the mint.
Henry Bain Sauce – Invented in 1881 by caterer Henry Bain of the exclusive Pendennis Club, Henry Bain sauce is great accompaniment for roast beef tenderloin. It is a flavorful combination of steak sauce, chili sauce, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, and chutney that is rubbed on nearly -done mean, which is roasted for another 20 minutes.
Burgoo - A thick stew traditionally made with game meat, burgoo is still served at Keeneland Racetrack, around Derby time, and at political rallies. Modern recipes often include several meats, vegetable, and a shot of Bourbon.
Sausages – Given the large population of German-American citizens in Louisville, it is into surprising that sausage is popular in the city. With the Swift plant still operating and many local sausage makers at work, there is always fresh sausage in our city!
Bourbon balls – When Kentucky Governor Ruby Laffon said chocolate tasted better with bourbon, Ruth Hanly Booe whipped up bourbon balls at the Rebecca Ruth Candy Company. Made with dark chocolate, Kentucky bourbon, and sugar, the original has a creamy center. There are many popular variations of the treat, but the original is commemorated with a historical marker in front of the store at 112 East Second Street.
Modjeska’s – Named for Polish actress Helen Modjeska, this caramel and marshmallow delicacy was created by local candy maker Anton Busath. Currently made by Louisville locals such as Muth’s Candy and Bauer’s, the candy is often made at home.