If you think that a Smoky Mountains, TN, vacation is just about towering mountains, rushing rivers, gushing streams, and teeming wildlife, you are wrong. It is so much more!
This beautiful and bountiful region is also well known for its delicious food that draws inspiration from the Southern Appalachian heritage.
Here are a few food items you must try once here.
While the Smoky Mountains got named after the mist rising from its peaks, some gourmands believe the smoke is from its scrumptious barbeque. Pigs were a source of easily available and low-maintenance meat in the twentieth century and pork barbeque slowly gained prominence as a delish dish in the Smokies. You can sink your teeth into this delicacy at Delauder’s BBQ which has a typical Smokies décor and friendly staff.
Your next stop should be the Pancake Pantry for a plateful of light and fluffy buttermilk pancakes that are served with hot syrup and whipped cream. With over 23 varieties served here, you are sure to overeat till you are fit to burst.
A vacation in the Smokies is all about trout fishing. If you’d like to dig into fresh trout, your best bet is the Smoky Mountain Trout House which serves trout in ten different ways. Set in one of Gatlinburg’s oldest buildings, this restaurant has everything yummy you’d ever want in terms of texture and flavors. There are ample options for non-trout eaters too.
Captivating Corn Chowder
In the Smokies, you will find an Appalachian twist to the New England dish called Corn Chowder. For the best among the lot, you’ll need to head over to the Old Mill Restaurant which serves corn chowder with corn fritters, along with many classic Southern dishes like sugar-cured ham and country-fried steak.
Tourists from far and wide, along with locals, throng the Smokies for the gooey treat called taffy. In fact, you can see it getting made at the Smoky Mountain Candy Makers in Pigeon Forge. Would you believe they make it on the same machine they’ve been using since the 40s? You can try so many flavors here, from pina colada to apple to maple to watermelon and more! Yum, yum!
If you are over 21 years of age, you are in for a treat – a dram of moonshine to wash all that food down.
For this, the best option is the Ole Smoky Distillery which is the largest (and first legal) distillery in Tennessee. More than 20 types of moonshine are available here, with flavors that range from Sweet Tea to eggnog and everything in between. There are also whiskies, which go from classic bourbon to peanut butter!
You can also take a tour of how moonshine is made and enjoy free concerts.
In all, if food and drink are what make you click, you’ll love your time in the Smoky Mountains!