— CUMBERLAND — From goat’s cheese to maple syrup to hops, the Bon Appetit Appalachia map is a guide for blossoming food and adult beverage businesses in the nooks and crannies of the country’s oldest mountain range.
The map was unveiled this week in Charleston, W.Va., a perfect location considering it is the only state entirely within the boundaries of the Appalachian Regional Commission.
Parts of 12 other states are included as well, including Maryland’s three westernmost counties, Garrett, Allegany and Washington counties.
Of the 650 businesses or local food efforts from New York to Alabama that are included on the map, Garrett and Allegany counties each have three and Mineral County, W.Va., has one.
“We are very excited to be on the map,” said Andy Cedro, director of sales for FireFly Farms, Creamery & Market in Accident. “We’ve been in business since 2002 producing goat cheese and we sell throughout the U.S. Our largest outlet is Whole Foods Grocery. We deliver weekly to the D.C. area.”
Visitors to Accident can watch cheese being made by hand and sample the end result along with “yummy, yummy specialty foods,” according to Cedro.
The food creation network is kept local by the use of milk from nearby goats.
Inclusion on the map was a surprise to Karen Hartman of Indian Water Maple Co., in New Creek, W.Va. Hartman speculates that her business was nominated by the West Virginia Division of Tourism.
“They put my tax dollars to work,” she said Wednesday.
“We do a little walk-in business during February and March,” Hartman said, referring to the time of year when the maple sap is flowing and syrup is being produced.
The sweet product that evolves from the maple trees is sold mostly through business outlets in various parts of eastern West Virginia, but also through state-sponsored Tamarack, which places the syrup for sale at places such as state parks.