Philadelphia is the oldest of the state’s culinary regions, tracing its roots to the early Dutch and Swedish settlers in the Delaware Valley and of course to the establishment of the City by William Penn. However, the city’s culinary profile evolved over the centuries to include its extensive trade connections with the Caribbean (hence the introduction of dishes like pepperpot) and with the rich farmland in a ring of counties on both sides of the Delaware River.
Local specialties like catfish-and-waffles, scrapple, sticky buns (cinnamon buns), cream cheese, ice cream made exclusively with cream, and more recent inventions like Consommé Bellevue, the hoagie and beefsteak sandwiches, and South Philly tomato pie, all speak to the unique cultural fusionism that has established the City as the foundation for modern American cuisine.
Joe Colanero. Down Jersey Cooking. Woodbury, NJ: Down Jersey Press, 2004
Available at Amazon.com
Becky Diamond. Mrs. Goodfellow: The Story of America’s First Cooking School.
Yardley, PA: Westholme Publishing, 2012. Available at Amazon.com