Pennsylvania is one of those states that everyone knows something about, and it usually involves Pittsburgh or Philadelphia. Why? Because most people don’t think about the entire expanse in between those two cities. But in between those two cities is a lot of culture, and there are actually a number of different foods that have originated in Pennsylvania that you may have never realized came from this giant Mid-Atlantic State. Here are four of my favorites:
- Apple Butter. It’s not really butter, but it’s not really a jelly or a jam either. It’s just apple butter; it’s its own thing. Apple butter is a favorite for Pennsylvanians because it was an alternate way to enjoy apples, which are very common, especially in the southern and central areas of the state. You can enjoy it on toast, and another odd regional favorite is mixing it with cottage cheese. Tasty!
- Scrapple. Everything that doesn’t go into sausage ends up in scrapple. This little rectangle of meat scraps (hence the name) has “everything but the hooves” of a pig, according to those who make it. What’s in it? No one really knows, but it tastes good, so no one really speculates about it either.
- Pot Pie. I’m not talking about the pies that you get in the freezer section and pop into the oven. Pot pie, as Pennsylvanians (specifically, the Pennsylvania Dutch) know them is actually more of a stew than a pie. There’s no crust involved at all. Instead, it’s all mixed in broth; the carbohydrates come into play from the noodles that are in the stew.
- Creamed Chipped Beef. Known in the military as SOS, this amazing PA food is especially popular in central PA, where it’s usually eaten on toast, waffles, or hash browns. It consists of white sausage gravy and dried beef, which is cut into little strips. Mix it together, ladle it onto your food o f choice, and enjoy!
So the next time you indulge in any of these amazing foods, make sure to tip your hat toward Pennsylvania. Without that great state (and its massive Amish and Mennonite population) we may not have some of the great foods that we enjoy on a regular basis.