Regional Food From Lancaster: Tell Me About Your Town

Every month, Amanda from Amanda Moments does a fun link up asking bloggers to share specific tid bits about their town/region. This is my first time participating but it’s been fun reading about different areas of the states throughout the past couple of months. 

This month the prompt was a favorite topic for most people: FOOD! So I’m here to talk to you about regional food from Lancaster, PA:

foodlancasterpa

Photo courtesy of discolverlancasterpa.com

My hometown of Lancaster, PA is known for its Pennsylvania Dutch culture. What is PA Dutch? Not people from Holland….

Pennsylvania Dutch refers to the heritage of German immigrants that made their way to PA in the late 17th century. Some of these PA Dutch immigrants were part of the plain sect Anabaptists who would become what we now know as the Amish. Other assimilated easily with the English and became part of the general community. Yet, PA Dutch culture remains extremely conservative and traditional, with a desire to reject too much change.  

Most of the food that Lancaster, PA is traditional PA Dutch recipes. These are recipes from the 18th century that have changed very little over the years. 

You’d think that with the abundance of fresh produce and meats from the fertile farmland of the Susquehanna Valley we’d have standard healthy and whole recipes. That is not that case. 

Here are a few of Lancaster’s famous PA Dutch foods:

Whoopie Pies

chocolate-whoopie-pies

 Two small pieces of cake, made into a sandwich with a creamy center! Deliciousness! These were originated by German immigrants when they had leftover cake batter. Legend says that they got their name because every time farmers or kids would open their lunch pail to find these treats they’d yell out, “Whoopie!” 

PA Dutch Chicken Pot Pie

chicken-pot-pie

Lancaster’s version of Chicken Pot Pie is not like your grandmother’s pot pie (unless you’re from Lancaster of course!) This dish is a soup, made in a pot with chicken, veggies, and large flat egg noodles (pot pie noodles). There is no crust. I have no idea why it’s still called a pie…

ShooFly Pie

sho fly pie

 Shoofly pie is a molasses pie that gets its name due to the flies that were drawn to the sweet and sticky ingredients and needed to be “shooed” away. It’s very dense and not a favorite of mine at all. 

Chow Chow

chowchow

Lancaster is known for its pickles, relishes, and other pickled items. Chow Chow is basically a mix of summer veggies, pickled and mixed together. 

Faschnauts

faschnauts

 These fried donuts are such a big deal Lancaster has a whole day dedicated to them! Faschnaut Day is the day before lent, the time to clean out your pantry of all the extra lard, sugar, fat and butter. They aren’t as sweet as any other fried donut you’d have but they sure are popular on Faschnaut Day. You can order ahead at your grocery store and as a child I always looked forward to getting mine during school lunch. 

Pretzels

Pretzels Lancaster-PA

 My favorite salty snack! Lancaster is known for pretzels and many are made right here! Some of the more famous local brands are Hammonds, Sturgis, Martins. There are even pretzel tours you can go on and one local town’s mascot is a pretzel! I prefer mine covered in chocolate (preferably from local Hershey chocolate!) Pretzels not your thing? Utz chips are made locally as well.

hersheypa

 And of course we have Hershey’s chocolate made right here in Hershey, PA. The whole town smells like chocolate, it’s mouth-watering. 

 What food is your town known for? Check out the other bloggers linking up this week talking about their famous regional food! 

Amanda Moments