Kentucky Tastes Savory

While I worked on the manuscript for my second book, which will come out in November, I became convinced that Kentucky's true flavors are not very sweet.

I know we think of ourselves as loving sweets, and I am saying this as a sorghum evangelist: I think Kentucky tastes like green beans, cantaloupe, and sliced tomatoes in summer. It tastes like slow roasted meats and smoked cured pork. It tastes like cornbread and biscuits. It tastes like anything good from the garden, including all the good things we eat in winter that still from our land even when it's cold outside.

While developing recipes for the new book I experimented with using small amounts of three natural Kentucky sweeteners– sorghum, honey and maple syrup – to build layers of sweetness and reduce the overall amount of sugars needed in those dishes that must be sweetened. I found, for example, that sorghum makes a wonderful sweetener for a hot pepper relish, all by itself.

Savory jams have been in the news recently. Some of the jams identified as savory include enormous amounts of sugar; others do not. Punk Domestics is a website that aggregates other people's recipes and work. Their collection of savory jams includes a wide range of sugar content. Take a look, and you might see something you want to make this summer that tastes like Kentucky and will keep delighting you into the winter.

Rona RobertsComment