Put Some South in your Mouth
It would be very easy to say that the only reason to visit Lynchburg is Jack Daniels. The large distillery almost literally being the life support system for the tiny town in Middle Tennessee. It's basically a given that if the distillery wasn't there perhaps the entire town wouldn't exist. However, to say that JD is the only thing worth visiting in Lynchburg is simply not true. A number of small businesses, particularly in and around the courthouse square offer a wonderful way to spend a couple hours shopping and eating. Purveyors offering things such as antiques, JD collectables as well as snacks and full restaurants.
I've even blogged about one of them.There are a few full restaurants but if you're feeling a bit peckish, there are a few places offering snacks and/or sweets. One such place is Nina's Taste of Tennessee. Named after Linda Ward who's lovingly known as Nina by her grand children this little store sells home made confections as well as other food related items and seasonal bric-a-brac. All made in the long thin state. While you can pick up items like Lodge cookware, various sauces, Jim Shore collectables and other nick-nacks hand crafted in the "Volunteer State" it's the sweets coming out of Nina's kitchen that brings people in the door.
Out front you'll find Johnny manning the counter, greeting people with that southern hospitality and charm. All the while Linda whisks away in the kitchen.
So let's get a look at what she's got cookin' in that there kitchen.
There are plenty of things to sample and among them are some fudges. I was able to sample the Chocolate, Whiskey, and Peanut Butter Fudges along with some straight and Whiskey Caramel Syrups. I'll deal with the fudges in a second but as for the syrups they're really good. They come from a local purveyor which also has other offerings. The addition of a little JD in syrup really adds some depth. You don't get that "Boozy" taste that can often times happen when alcohol is used but a nice, well rounded flavour. It has much more going on than the virgin syrup.
One thing that really caught my eye was the chocolate dipped Oreos. Now, some will say you shouldn't mess with perfection and in principal, I agree. Citing Oreos as perfect the way they are. There's no getting around the fact that on their own, in their original incarnation, Oreos are possibly the king of the grocery store bagged cookies. These original types, dipped and then drizzled with the opposite colour chocolate are simply incredible. I wouldn't say better than plain but different. No better and certainly no worse. They come in white and dark chocolate and if you're like me and can't decided which one to chose, get both. I cut both in half and split them with Madame Butterfly. Even after all that, I couldn't decide which cookie was better.
The star of the show and what got us in the door is the house made Whiskey Fudge. Being able to compare the regular version with the whiskey version it was clear, much like with the caramel sauce, the JD makes a difference. It just has more body. There's not so much that a non whiskey person would be turned off, enough you can tell there's some in there and certainly enough to push it over the edge as far as fudges go. As with most places selling fudge, it's sold by weight so you can pretty much buy as much as you like.
Incidentally, the Peanut Butter Fudge was absolutely amazing.
So there you go folks, some excellent goodies to satisfy anyone's sweet tooth.
You can find Nina's Taste of Tennessee at 14 Short St on the north side of Lynchburg Square in Lynchburg, Tn.
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You can also find them on the web.
Well that's all for this time. We'll see ya again in the food court.