Saturday, June 15, 2024

Williamsburg honors the “First Foodies”

Had they called themselves Foodye’s, along with being settlers, Williamsburg would have been recognized much earlier for truly being the First Foodies.

Along with being the birthplace of the American Revolution, the community that first settled on Jamestown Island in 1607 also settled into a long tradition of discovering, importing and gathering many of the world’s most coveted foods and beverages.

Williamsburg, for instance, brewed the first beer in the United States, originally because the water was so bad (not to mention contaminated). The tradition has continued for less pragmatic reasons- the pleasure of a good craft beer- as evidenced by the six breweries there today

The birthplace of America is also where the American food movement – first gardens, vineyards, free range and farm-to-table – all started. It is the water and soil where Pocahontas and John Smith harvested oysters and ate venison.  That appetite for fresh and local foods and spirits has never stopped. In what’s now Greater Williamsburg, they are still at it but it’s evolving, morphing, and adapting to the modern palate and for today’s food enthusiasts.

Local oysters have been a part of Williamsburg’s cuisine since the 1600’s

That ancient oyster bed is still there serving up crustaceans, and people are brewing more beer, mead and wine than ever before.  There are new discoveries, such as the African spices and cooking that almost immediately made its way into the British Colonial foods (and are now found in America’s cuisine).

Every meal has a story, and if served well, is the proverbial table where great stories are told. In many ways, Williamsburg is America’s kitchen.

In April, the inaugural Williamsburg Taste Festival will tell the story of this connection to the past in a celebration of centuries-old food traditions reimagined in a thoroughly modern and sophisticated way. The community is assembling local and national culinary trendsetters, brew masters and vintners for an epicurean adventure set in one of the most historic and picturesque cities in America.

Greater Williamsburg has come of age and the Williamsburg Taste Festival is serving up experiences that will whet everyone’s appetite. If this were a declaration, it would read something like this:

“We believe in food less traveled, harvested only when Nature decrees it to be so; we believe in regional, sustainable and all-natural ingredients (the world is not your oyster, so after you eat it, put that shell back into the river); we believe that in 1607 our forefathers and mothers depended on food to live another day; we are now blessed where we look forward to every new day and adventure with the hope of discovering new and authentic culinary moments of happiness.”

The four day Williamsburg Taste Festival takes place April 19 – 22. Click here to learn more. 


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