On A Roll….

I love West Virginia for many reasons. The rich history and folklore, the beautiful vistas in all directions, and the mix of interesting people living on its hillsides and up its hollers come to mind. With so much to love, you’d think it’d be hard to pick a favorite thing about the state. You’d be right. However, fellowship and food with friends is a spiritual experience like no other. When it comes to enjoying local flavors, I covet pepperoni rolls like a catfish craves a nightcrawler.

Speaking of fish outta water, pepperoni rolls are nearly impossible to find anywhere else. Like much of our heritage, country ingenuity gave rise to this simple (stacks of pepperoni rolled in dough and baked) and unique creation. A century ago, an Italian immigrant and coal miner invented the pepperoni roll as lunch for local coal miners. The idea caught on and pepperoni rolls have been a wondeful part of the West Virginia experience ever since.

You’ll find this cornerstone of our culture, some stuffed with cheese, at every convenience store in our state, but few places else. Why? Natural resources are naturally rare, I guess. Maybe, it’s the rule of scarcity that drives people back to experience this down home delicacy. Who knows? Whatever the reason, my prayer remains the same. Give me my daily bread and make sure there’s a bunch of pepperoni rolled up inside it. Amen.

— Jim Shock, Barnwood Living Contributor