Would I be going out on a limb if I were to assume that each one of the 50 states people, places, and things that are unique to it? I think it would be a shame if that WEREN'T the case.

I'm pretty sure the stuff I have in mind about Kentucky--and there could probably be many more--is all unique to the Commonwealth, but, yes, I could be wrong. And I will accept that I am if proof is presented.


I'm going to start with something that I feel certain is unique to Kentucky and ALMOST unique to Owensboro--mutton. (And burgoo, too.)

I have met very few people in my lifetime who are NOT from Owensboro who like mutton. And the "out-of-towners" who DO like it are all from Kentucky. So I'm going with it. And honestly, mutton IS barbecue in my family. Yes, it is all good--chicken, pork, brisket--but there's no topping mutton, in my book. Unless it's pickle and onion, of course.

Growing up, when my dad said we were going for barbecue, he just meant mutton. And, of course, we could never have mutton without burgoo. In fact, who hasn't made a bowl of burgoo an entire meal? Oh by the way, there are plenty of videos of people preparing burgoo, but many of them don't include mutton in the recipe. The folks at St. Pius would not approve.


But what are you going to wash all that mutton and burgoo down with? How about an ice cold bottle of Ale 8 One? With THIS one, I know I'm right, because it's bottled right here in Kentucky. In Winchester.

Now, I may get some disagreements here, but that's okay; I gotta be honest. I do not like Ale 8 One. At all. But I know plenty of folks who can't get enough of it and even have favorite foods they like it to accompany. And those folks have been around a while because Ale 8 ONE has been around a while--we're talking the first decade of the 20th century. That's when George Lee Wainscott got a hold of a carbonation machine--revolutionary at the time.

He tried different colas for a couple of decades until he discovered ginger beer while traveling in Europe. It was that spicy flavor that he felt would pair well with fruit flavors. He toned down the ginger first, then presented his concoction at the 1926 Clark County fair. The rest is history. But don't think for one second you can make it at home. The recipe is a closely-guarded family secret.


Speaking of beverages, what about bourbon? I'm making the call here--it IS unique to Kentucky, and if someone somewhere outside of the Bluegrass State is distilling a brown liquor and calling it bourbon, they're wrong. It's whiskey.


Bourbon is Kentucky. I've even had a bottle of bourbon that wasn't intended for sale in the United States. A friend of mine received as a gift several years ago, but he doesn't drink and gave it to me. I wish I could remember the brand; it was very good.


But let's get back to food for a minute...specifically, the Kentucky Hot Brown.

Ever heard of a MAINE Hot Brown, a NEBRASKA Hot Brown, or an OREGON Hot Brown? Nope. And that's good. They probably wouldn't make it right. I've actually had one from the place where it originated--the Brown Hotel in Louisville. Spectacular. Best I've ever had. And they wouldn't have had it any other way.

Are these items truly unique to Kentucky. I say yes, but the debate floor is open if anyone has proof to the contrary.

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