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CUISINE OF THE PENNSYLVANIA DUTCH

 

 

 

 

 

Pennsylvania Dutch cuisine is the typical and traditional fare of the Pennsylvania Dutch, and it has had a considerable influence on the areas in which they originally settled, Central and Southeastern Pennsylvania , as well as the neighboring areas that they have migrated to over time. Though its base strongly reflects their German heritage, it has developed into a distinctly different cuisine over the centuries that they have lived in America ; it also manifests their simple, largely agricultural lifestyles, the resources made available to them in Pennsylvania Dutch Country, as well as the various regional and religious backgrounds from which they stem. As they hated to waste anything, Pennsylvania Dutch cooks often made use of food parts otherwise discarded, including pig organs and scraps and watermelon rind. Even today, Amish diets are considerably low in processed foods.

A common aspect of Pennsylvania Dutch meals, especially maintained by Amish families today, is a centuries-old emphasis on the seven sweets and seven sours, stemming from archaic European custom and the belief that everything should be properly balanced. Before the typically large families, and especially in the presence of company, seven various pickled foods, relishes, and spreads were laid out on the table alongside the starchy, hearty, filling dishes as part of the evening meal. These delicacies were enjoyed as accompaniments or by themselves. In the absence of refrigeration, they could be prepared in the summer and preserved in jars through the winter months. Beyond the home, some tourist-oriented restaurants and annual festivals in Pennsylvania Dutch Country celebrate this tradition.

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Foods of Pennsylvania Dutch origin include:

  • Scrapple
  • Pickled beet eggs
  • Schnitz un knepp
  • Chicken pot pie (Pennsylvania Dutch cuisine)
  • Brown butter noodles
  • Rivvel soup
  • Apple butter
  • Hogmaw
  • Chow-chow
  • Cole slaw

Desserts:

  • Shoofly pie
  • Whoopie pies
  • Funnel cake
  • Fastnachts
  • Apple dumplings

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