Country vittles: Mountaineer Week celebrates West Virginia cuisine with buffet, ’roni roll contest

MORGANTOWN — You don’t have to be a WVU student to eat like a Mountaineer.

As WVU’s annual Mountaineer Week kicks off Friday, there will opportunities a’plenty for the entire community to enjoy all types of Appalachian-style cuisine.

The food portion of the celebration gets under way with the Country Vittles Dinner Buffet, which will be served from 5-7 p.m. Friday at Hatfields in the Mountainlair.

The menu is chockfull of down-home comfort food favorites, like turkey, ham, mac and cheese, mashed potatoes and gravy, fried chicken, soup beans and corn bread, green beans and potatoes, cole slaw, deviled eggs, biscuits with apple butter, pumpkin and pecan pie, and cherry and apple cobbler.

“Just about anything that you can think of that your grandma used to make,” Sonja Wilson, Mountaineer Week adviser, said.

Wilson said the dinner is a ticketed event, but that tickets are available at the door. Cost of the meal is $13.50 for adults, $10 for WVU students and $8 for children under 12.

To make the meal feel even more traditional, Dina Hornbaker will perform Appalachian music during dinner.

Following the dinner, at 7 p.m., a representative from Homer Laughlin China Company will present “West Virginia’s Own Fiestaware,” about the popular dinnerware made in the Mountain State. The presentation will be in the Shenandoah Room.

Wilson said there will be drawings for several sets of kitchen and nesting bowls during the presentation.

The food fun continues Sunday, when, from 1-3 p.m., perhaps West Virginia’s most iconic food — the pepperoni roll — gets its due.

Members of the community are encouraged to come to the Mountainlair and taste free samples of pepperoni rolls from

10 competing restaurants, then vote for their favorites for People’s Choice Winner.

Candace Nelson, author of “The West Virginia Pepperoni Roll” will be on hand for the event, as well, selling and signing copies of her book.

“The community really needs to come out,” Wilson said, noting that the purpose of Sunday’s Family Fun Day is to celebrate the “town gown” relationship between WVU and the Morgantown community as a whole.

On Oct. 24 — National Food Day — members of the Students Board and Food Recovery Network will collect donations of nonperishable food items in front of the Mountainlair, to give to WVU’s food bank, The Rack.

Also on Oct. 24, Chef Melanie Campbell of Davis & Elkins College will present, “Biscuits and Jam: Just Like Grandma’s,” from 1-2 p.m. on the first floor of the Mountainlair. Then, learn to can your fresh fruits and vegetables to keep them edible all winter long during a demonstration on the practice from 7-8 p.m in the Shenandoah Room.

During Mountaineer Week, food vendors will be set up outside the ’Lair offering up everything from funnel cakes to fresh roasted corn.

Also throughout the week, area restaurants will feature Mountaineer Week-themed specials and discounts. A list of participating restaurants will be published as soon as it’s finalized.

For a full Mountaineer Week schedule, go to mountaineerweekwvu.edu or call 304-293-2702.

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