(Commonwealth of Kentucky)
- Location: East-central United States
- Capital: Frankfort
- Language(s): English
- Population: 4,453,564
- Total Area: 104,659 sq km
- Curious Alcohol Fact: There are more than 50 wineries in the state.
- Most Popular Drink(s): Kentucky wines
- What You Must Do in Kentucky: Pay a visit to the Mammoth Cave National Park –the longest cave system in the world.
Located in the East Central part of the United States, Kentucky is one of the few states in the country designated as a Commonwealth. The remaining three ‘Commonwealth states’ are Pennsylvania, Virginia and Massachusetts. The state shares borders with Tennessee to the south, Virginia and West Virginia to the east, Illinois to the west and to the north of the state are Indiana and Ohio. On its western side, Kentucky is separated by the Mississippi River from the state of Missouri. Initially part of the state of Virginia, the state of Kentucky is popularly known as the Bluegrass State and this name stems from the fact that the plant grows in various parts of the state. First settled by numerous American Indian tribes, it is thought that the name for the state came from the Iroquois word that means ‘prairie’. The state is also known for its thriving coal industry and if you are interested in knowing more about the processes of coal mining, you can have an excursion to the state’s many collieries.
Just as is the case with many other states in the country, about 90% of the people in Kentucky are Whites and are mainly of English, German and Irish roots. Apart from those with European ancestry, the state is also populated by Blacks (African Americans), Asians, American Natives and Hispanics (Latinos) who came mainly from Mexico and other Latin America nations. Interestingly, about half of the state’s residents are not following any church and for those that do, the principal churches are the Roman Catholic Church, Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.
If there is anything that you will surely find fascinating and enchanting with Kentucky, it is the cuisine. The Commonwealth of Kentucky is the place for nice meals and dishes. In some parts of the state, you will be treated to a dish called goetta and is made from chopped meat, cereals and spiced with pepper, thyme and bay leaves. As an adventurous spirit, I also ensure that I had a mouthful of the legendary frog legs, deep-fried until crusty. If you are thinking that is all Kentucky has to offer, wait until you come across the barbequed pork shoulder, steamed catfish, Bourbon balls and a special type of cheese made with beer. Yes, beer!
For those interested in drinking something that will lift their spirits, the state has fabulous wines and these are collectively referred to as Kentucky wine. Talking of Kentucky wine, one thing that you will love is the staggering array of brands and types that you can always choose from. Some of the ones I was able to sample include the majestic Seyval Blanc, De Chaunac and Chardonnay. In a state that has close to 60 wineries, what else do you expect? Although I have visited other wine-producing states like Missouri, I still have that irresistible longing for fine Kentucky wine. Before you blame me, have a sip of Catabwa first!
Like many of the other states in the country, there are numerous fans of baseball, basketball and football in the state of Kentucky. Racing is also relatively popular in the state.
- This state has the most important coalfield in the United States.
- Kentucky is one of the few states in the United States referred to as a commonwealth.
- The most impressive cave network on the planet, the Mammoth Cave is located in Kentucky.
- Bluegrass music is the official music for the state.
Story By World By Shotglass
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Special thanks to our contributors:
Adebayo Ahmed Adebola (Ilorin, Nigeria).