Lancaster county is famous for Pennsylvania Dutch cooking. So, what is authentic Pennsylvania Dutch cooking? Before we answer that question, we need to clear up some misconceptions. First, the term Dutch refers to German ancestry, not Holland. Second, the Amish make up a rather small portion of Pennsylvania German culture. Lutheran, Mennonite and Anabaptists settled most of Central Pennsylvania.
Authentic Pennsylvania Dutch fare was designed with frugality and food preservation in mind. Our early German ancestors hated wasting food and created dishes like scrapple to utilize meats that normally would not be consumed at the dinner table. The Pennsylvania Dutch employed canning and pickling techniques to preserve food for the long winter. Delicacies like coleslaw, chow-chow and sauerkraut were born out of necessity. While the origin of the whoopie pie is still up for debate, they remain a delicious staple in Pennsylvania Dutch Country today.
Smorgasbords, like the one at Bird-in-Hand Restaurant offer buffet style sampling at great prices. You’ll even find that delicious whoopie pie! For whoopie pie aficionados Hershey Farm Restaurant hosts their annual Whoopie Pie Festival on September 7, 2019. Spend the day at Green Dragon Farmers market to feast on a variety of Lancaster County fare while you shop over 400 food, craft and antique stands. No sampling of Lancaster County delicacies would be complete without a stop at the Julius Sturgis Pretzel Bakery. You’ll work up an appetite taking the factory tour.
Still can’t get enough Pennsylvania Dutch cuisine? Stop by Kitchen Kettle Village where aside from shopping, you can dine, sample and bring a taste of Lancaster County back home with you. Choose from jellies, jams, fresh baked pies and cookies, relishes, salsas and pickles straight from their family-run kitchen.