As a follow up to my popular Must Try RI Foods post, I’m starting a series of Must Try foods for each region that we visit. To create my list of must try foods when visiting PA Dutch Country, I consulted some locals and did some sampling but I’d love to hear from other travelers and locals to see what I’ve missed or the best places to get some of these PA Dutch specialities.
1. Shoofly Pie – Dutch Haven in Ronks, PA is the original shoofly bakery, famous for its shoofly pies since 1946. This molasses pie supposedly gets its name from the sweet molasses, which attracts flies that have to get shooed away.
2. Whoopie Pies – The Bird-in-Hand Bakery offers many kinds of pies and cakes but is also famous for its whoopie pies. While the whoopie pie is also popular in New England (and the official state treat of Maine), it is also a PA Dutch tradition. It’s believed that whoopie pies were first made from leftover cake batter, and Amish legend has it that, when children and even farmers would find the delicious treat in their lunch pail, they’d yell out “Whoopie!”
3. Pretzels – Dutch, hard, thin, soft…there are as many places to sample pretzels in PA Dutch Country as there are types of pretzels. Some options are the Julius Sturgis Pretzel Bakery, Intercourse Pretzel Factory, and Hammond Pretzel Bakery among others.
4. Sticky Buns – my mom always makes sticky buns on Easter morning and I look forward to that ooey, gooey raisiny treat. Apparently this is another PA Dutch speciality and you can find them March – December at Mr. Sticky’s Homemade Sticky Buns or at S. Clyde Weaver.
5. Smorgasbord – for a little bit of everything else, like chow chow, pepper jam, fried chicken, cinnamon raisin bread, chicken pot pie with noodles, brown buttered noodles and so much more, stop by an authentic Amish smorgasbord like Miller’s or have the Amish Feast at Plain and Fancy Farms. For more PA Dutch staples, try Country Table in Mount Joy, where the chicken pot pie, chicken croquettes, ham loaf and roast turkey dinner are all recommended!
Other local recommendations include:
- Picking up some Groff’s sweet bologna at any neighborhood market
- Stopping by Root’s Country Market, Lancaster Central Market or Green Dragon Farmer’s Market for produce, sweets and pretzel sandwiches (at the Green Dragon)
- Homemade ice cream at Boehringers
- Visiting Lapp’s farm around 4pm to watch them milking the cows and then trying their ice cream
- Go to breakfast at Bright’s in Ephrata for the dippy eggs and scrapple