Nevada is home to a multitude of people. The indigenous Paiute have called it home for centuries. Later, it attracted thousands of immigrants during the silver boom in the 1800s. Subsequently, people from the Basque community immigrated in search of greener pastures. A more recent influx of the Italian population has given the state a cosmopolitan touch.
The cultural melee has made Nevadan restaurants a foodie paradise. Check out fabulous las vegas food coupons and deals and head over to Nevada to try some of its signature dishes.
The Basque people settled in Northern Nevada in the mid-1800s during the Gold Rush and again in the 1940s. Now, with over 6000 persons, Basque Nevadans constitute 0.3% of the American population. Primarily a shepherding community, the Basques transmigrated with their sheep to the mountains in summer and towns in winter.
Thus, they established homesteads for shepherds away from their families to board and lodge. They are situated in Elko, Winnemucca and Vegas. Basque cuisine includes:
- Chorizo: It is a traditional Basque sandwich. The patty is made of grilled air-dried sausage (taken from the shoulder of a hog), seasoned with paprika, garlic, Ortega chillies, and pimento.
- Picon punch: This basque aperitif is prepared with Amer picon, grenadine, brandy and a dash of lemon soda. It is guaranteed to cool you down on a hot day.
- Lamb shank: The Basques season lamb shanks with fragrant herbs such as rosemary and thyme. They braise it in wine to bring all the flavours together in a delicious meaty dish.
While the Basques settled in Northern Nevada, the Italians preferred southern regions, concentrating around Las Vegas. They arrived in the early 1900s and were involved in agriculture or mining. Most families lived in close-knit neighbourhoods and delegated agricultural tasks amongst themselves.
Meat curing was the main summertime activity involving every family member. They would distribute a giant hog to different houses, and each house would specialize in a particular technique. Some families cured pork chops, others the hindquarters (prosciutto), and others sausage and salami.
- Ravioli: These flavour-filled pockets of pasta are an Italian staple. The mushroom ravioli, which uses porcini mushroom stuffing and sauce, is a dish you must try.
- Salami charcuterie: If you are in the mood for some gourmet food, the salami charcuterie is the right choice. You can relish salami cured with Calabrese and the spicy cacciatore salami.
The Native American Tribes of Paiute, Panamint and Gosiute are settled in various regions of Nevada and have established resorts where you can try delicious indigenous cuisine such as:
- Paiute Taco: Try the Paiute taco, which is fried in a cast-iron pan. It is topped with chilli, sour cream, and salsa.
- Tamales: Tamale is a Meso-American indigenous food that’s both healthy and delicious. A pocket of corn masa dough is stuffed with pork or chicken and steamed in a corn husk, making it a nutritious source of protein.
Quintessential Vegas Food:
You’re sure to find plenty of authentic restaurants serving traditional food in Vegas. Be sure to arm yourself with las vegas food coupons and deals to make the best of your culinary journey. Some dishes that you must try at Vegas are:
- Bone-in ribeye steak at the traditional steakhouses: No trip to Vegas is complete without savouring steaks. The juicy and tender bone-in rib steak is particularly popular.
- Elk chop with sweet dried cherries: Nevada has a thriving elk hunting community, and fresh elk steaks are available during November and December.
- Cornish pasty: During the 1800s Silver rush, silver miners from Cornwall needed portable and nutritious lunches to eat during their breaks. Thus, they modified the open meat pie into a pasty. Beef, chicken, and chilli pasties are an absolute must-try.
Nevada is an oasis of culinary delight in the middle of the dreary desert. Every city has a special offering that is sure to tickle your taste buds.
Increasingly, restaurants have embraced vegan and vegetarian substitutes for their favorite meat dishes, enabling large groups to enjoy dining together irrespective of dietary restrictions. Head over to Nevada for a lifetime worth of gastronomic experience.