Charleston, West Virginia

Added on by Nathan Hoang.

The first long drive of the trip, about six hours worth, from Charleston, WV to Charlotte, NC, via Roanoke, VA, was going to be a challenge, so I quickly thanked Joey for the good luck he wished upon me, and left, first for coffee, then for answers to make up for the unsatisfying ones I got from the day before.

There had to be more to West Virginia than just being to the west of a Virginia. And for having a several Bob Evans. And a capitol with a golden dome. And a time capsule inside. And an Abraham Lincoln on the outside.

I asked the students manning the West Virginia State Museum front desk about what makes the state so great; what would they miss if they left.

“Pepperoni rolls,” they told me.

Like…Totino’s Pizza Rolls? That’s like telling me to try out the food court.

“No, they’re a little bigger than that.”

So a calzone, then.

“Kind of.”

Basically, they told me, miners’ wives made these cheap, hand-held lunches for their husbands and then it just caught on, like the Cronut™, but without the pretentiousness. There’s history and heritage to the pepperoni roll, something that the Cronut™ can’t claim. Something that I would’ve snuck into the West Virginian State Capitol Time Capsule if I was around to do that.

Anyway, wish I had known about this roll last night, but something tells me that even though I missed out on a genuine West Virginian pepperoni roll, there’s probably a restaurant in Brooklyn somewhere that only serves pepperoni rolls for $10 each.