Louisville Style

Louisville Style

Partake in and celebrate all the intersections that make Louisville a strange and wonderful place.

Louisville Style: A Taste of Authenticity

Discover the Unique Flavors and Traditions of Louisville

Louisville, Kentucky, is known for its rich cultural heritage and distinctive culinary styles. From gourmet granny-style pizza to bourbon-infused chocolates and signature whiskey cocktails, Louisville offers a variety of unique tastes that reflect the city’s vibrant character and history. Here’s a look at what makes Louisville style so special.

Louisville Style Pizza

Louisville style pizza is a local favorite that stands out for its thick, square slices, generous toppings, and rich, flavorful sauce. Known for its gourmet granny-style, this pizza is a nod to homemade goodness and comfort food. The hallmark of Louisville pizza is the blond cheese – a combination of long, stretchy and untoasted cheese that perfectly complements the thick crust and hearty sauce.

Key Features:

  • Thick and Square: Unlike the typical round pizza, Louisville style pizza is thick and cut into square pieces, making it easy to share.
  • Rich Sauce: A robust and flavorful tomato sauce that’s often a family secret recipe.
  • Blong Cheese: A unique blend of cheeses that melt together to create a stretchy, gooey topping.

Louisville Style Chocolates

No visit to Louisville would be complete without trying the city’s famous bourbon balls. These decadent chocolates are infused with the rich, smooth flavor of bourbon, creating a perfect balance of sweetness and warmth. Bourbon balls are a cherished treat, especially during the holiday season and Kentucky Derby festivities.

Key Features:

  • Bourbon Infusion: High-quality bourbon is the star ingredient, giving these chocolates their distinctive flavor.
  • Creamy Centers: Often made with butter, sugar, and nuts, encased in a smooth chocolate shell.
  • Derby Favorites: Popular during the Kentucky Derby, making them a seasonal favorite.

Louisville Style Whiskey

Louisville is at the heart of bourbon country, and its whiskey traditions are a point of pride. The classic way to enjoy Louisville style whiskey is in an Old Fashioned, a timeless cocktail that highlights the spirit’s depth and complexity. However, in May, during the Kentucky Derby, the Old Fashioned gets a special twist with the addition of a sprig of mint, making it a refreshing Mint Julep.

Key Features:

  • Old Fashioned: A classic cocktail made with bourbon, sugar, bitters, and a twist of citrus.
  • Mint Julep: The Derby month variation of the Old Fashioned, with the addition of fresh mint leaves for a crisp, aromatic flavor.
  • Bourbon Heritage: Reflecting the city’s deep connection to bourbon production, with many local distilleries offering tours and tastings.

Other Louisville Style Delights

Louisville’s culinary scene goes beyond pizza, chocolates, and whiskey. Here are a few more local favorites:

  • Hot Brown: An open-faced sandwich made with turkey, bacon, and Mornay sauce, invented at the Brown Hotel in the 1920s.
  • Derby Pie: A chocolate and walnut tart, often enjoyed during the Kentucky Derby.
  • Burgoo: A traditional Kentucky stew made with a mix of meats and vegetables, slow-cooked to perfection.

For those new to Louisville, here are 10 more items to add to your scavenger hunt of things that are “Louisville style” to try while you are here:

  1. Louisville Style BBQ:
    • Vegan BBQ Jerky: Slow-cooked soy protein, smoky and chewy, a regional specialty.
  2. Louisville Style Ale:
    • Kentucky Common Beer: A historic beer style that originated in Louisville, known for its light amber color and slight sourness.
  3. Louisville Style Breakfast:
    • Benedictine Spread: A cucumber and cream cheese spread used in sandwiches and as a dip, named after a Louisville caterer.
  4. Louisville Style Derby Hat:
    • Elaborate Derby Hats: Decorative and extravagant hats worn during the Kentucky Derby, often custom-made with flowers, feathers, and ribbons.
  5. Louisville Style Pie:
    • Modjeska: A caramel-covered marshmallow candy, named after a famous Polish actress who visited Louisville in the 1880s.
  6. Louisville Style Fried Chicken:
    • Chicken Derby: A spicy fried chicken served with a special hot sauce, reflecting the city’s love for both fried chicken and the Derby.
  7. Louisville Style Cuisine:
    • Farm-to-Table: Emphasis on locally sourced ingredients, reflecting the region’s agricultural heritage and commitment to sustainability.
  8. Louisville Style Sandwich:
    • Fried Bologna Sandwich: Thick slices of bologna fried and served on white bread with mustard and pickles, a Southern comfort food classic.
  9. Louisville Style Salad:
    • Wilted Lettuce Salad: A salad made with fresh garden greens, typically dressed with a warm bacon vinaigrette that wilts the leaves slightly.
  10. Louisville Style Art Festivals:
    • Forecastle Festival: A music, art, and activism festival held annually in Louisville, showcasing local culture and promoting environmental awareness.
  11. Louisville Style Pride Festivals
    • Kentuckiana Pride Festival and Louisville Pride Festival: Celebrating the LGBTQ+ community, these festivals feature parades, live entertainment, food, and a vibrant display of local pride, drawing attendees from across the region and beyond.

These examples highlight the unique and diverse aspects of Louisville’s cultural and culinary landscape, each with its own distinct local flavor and tradition.

Experience Louisville Style

Whether you’re a local or a visitor, experiencing Louisville style food and drinks is a must. From cozy pizzerias and gourmet chocolate shops to historic distilleries and bustling bars, the city offers countless ways to savor its unique flavors.

Plan Your Visit:

  • Food Tours: Join a local food tour to sample Louisville’s best bites and learn about the city’s culinary history.
  • Distillery Tours: Explore the Bourbon Trail and visit local distilleries to see how Louisville style whiskey is made.
  • Festivals and Events: Attend local events like the Kentucky Derby Festival to immerse yourself in Louisville’s culture and traditions.

Stay Connected

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Discover the authentic tastes and traditions that make Louisville a culinary destination. From pizza and chocolates to whiskey and beyond, Louisville style offers a rich and flavorful experience that’s uniquely its own.