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Kentucky Culture and Cuisine

Culture & Cuisine in Kentucky

While best known for its signature drink offerings (bourbon, wine, and the famous Kentucky Derby mint julep), The Bluegrass State is also home to a number of innovative food dishes and a hearty culinary heritage.

Bourbon Country

Bourbon is a Kentucky tradition. In fact 95% of the world's bourbon is distilled in Kentucky and production continues to grow! Whether you're new to bourbon or  a connoisseur, Kentucky bourbon country is your destination for unique tours, tastings, special events and history. Learn about Kentucky's bourbon history on a distillery tour. Also home to the Kentucky Bourbon Trail® allows visitors the opportunity to experience seven of Kentucky’s distilleries where its world-famous Kentucky bourbon is made. Since 1999 - when the Kentucky Distiller’s Association opened the KBT - visitors have been able to learn first-hand about the art and science of bourbon-making and its rich heritage and tradition in Kentucky. Read more...

Culinary Experiences

Get a taste of Kentucky through the unique flavours of the state. Kentucky famous foods such as country ham and hot browns, burgoo (a rich stew) and benedictine, spoonbread and corn pudding, and, of course, finger-lickin’ good barbecue and fried chicken mean Kentucky cuisine is a treat for your taste buds.

Kentucky country ham is cured by dry-rubbing rather than soaking, giving it a deliciously unique flavour different from other states. Kentucky barbecue, usually pork or mutton rather than beef, is smoked in a hickory pit, sometimes for a full day, to achieve its distinctive taste.

To start your tour of famous Kentucky foods, try a hot brown at the spot where it originated, Louisville’s Brown Hotel, and barbecue at Moonlite Bar-B-Q Inn in Owensboro (foodies, celebrities and even former president Bill Clinton love the barbecue here). Sample spoonbread at Berea’s historic Boone Tavern, fried chicken the way the Colonel liked it at Sanders Cafe & Museum on the site of the first Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant in Corbin, homemade pies at Patti’s 1880 Settlement in Grand Rivers and other Kentucky famous foods.

Across the state, chefs are putting their own spin on some regional favourites. Whether you want four-diamond splendour or down-home fare, white tablecloths or roadside diners, Kentucky cuisine will suit any taste.

Scroll through the menu on the left to see everything food, drink and recipe related or why not share your favourite with us at


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