Region 2 – The Pennsylvania Dutch Country

Consisting of 25 counties representing a culinary region roughly the same size as Switzerland, the Pennsylvania Dutch region is by far the richest in terms of variety and foodways. Blending culinary traditions from Swabia, Alsace, Switzerland, and the German Palatinate with New World ingredients, this unique American style of cookery is also the most extensively studied, with over 1600 dishes not found elsewhere in the state. Authentic Dutch cuisine is essentially farmhouse fare and does not readily adapt to restaurant style presentation. However, a new movement is exploring the reinvention of this traditional fare in the light of farm-to-table menus.

Miller's Smorgasbord

Menu in Pennsylvania Dutch dated 1954 from Miller’s Smorgasbord in Ronks, Pennsylvania. Established in 1929 Miller’s became a tourist Mecca famous for its chicken-and-waffle dinners. It was also the first restaurant in Lancaster County to welcome African-Americans, thus shaming other establishments in the Amish tourist belt to follow suit.

Pretzels, shoofly pie, chicken-and-waffles, teaberry ice cream, Bologna sausage, Datsch breads, Schales (vegetable tarts), Gumbis (deep-dish meat and cabbage casseroles), Mauldasche (pocket dumplings), Buwweschenkel (giant pirogies), saffron pot pie, and a rich array of pork charcouterie are only some of the unique foods found in this region.

Recommended Reading
William Woys Weaver. As American As Shoofly Pie. Philadelphia: University of
Pennsylvania Press, 2013. Available at Amazon.com
William Woys Weaver. Dutch Treats: Heirloom Recipes from Farmhouse Kitchens.
Pittsburgh: St. Lynn’s Press, 2016. Available at Amazon.com