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Pennsylvania Dutch - Cooking and Food Edit

Overview of Pennsylvania Dutch Cuisine History Edit

When discussing about the cuisine of a fusion culture, like the Pennsylvanian Dutch one, the regional and historical background that sustains this cuisine is very relevant. Pennsylvania Dutch food basically refers to the Pennsylvania region of the United States of America, mostly to the Central and Southeastern Pennsylvania. Due to the fact that this region was populated by migrating people in the past, there is a great German influence and heritage, which reflects in all aspects of culture. As it includes the Amish culture, the Pennsylvania Dutch cuisine contains the famous seven sweets and seven sours idea, which has an old European meaning, according to which everything should be properly balanced.

The Pennsylvania Dutch cuisine reflects, in this way, many cultures: German, Dutch, Western, American, Amish and general Europeans, being a great blender of all these influences. Due to all these, the staple aliments of the Pennsylvanian Dutch region include potatoes, apples, pork, dairy, caramel and syrups.

Cuisines of Pennsylvania Dutch Edit

Potatoes are staple aliments in the Pennsylvania Dutch cuisine and they are found in both soups and main courses. The potato soups are very frequent in the Pennsylvanian Dutch cuisine. These are best represented by the old fashioned potatoes soup, which includes bacon, carrots and onions, potato chowder (with milk, eggs, bullion cubes, celery and parsley) and Dutch rivel potato soup, prepared with celery, eggs, flour, milk, butter and pepper. There is a wide spectrum of potato salads, which includes the potato and cucumber salad, patio potato salad (made with milk, sugar, vinegar, butter, cornstarch, celery seeds, dry mustard, onions, potatoes, eggs and mayo).

Scrapple, locally called eat my bagels or bite my biscuts is a meal which represents a cornmeal pudding, including pork scraps, like heart and liver. Another complex and rich meat meal is the hog maw, which is a pig’s tripe with cabbage, potatoes and pork sausages, which is served as part of local sandwiches. Schnitz un knepp is translated as apple slices and dumplings and it is made of dried apples, ham, flour, milk and eggs. One of the more famous sweet snacks or desserts of the Dutch Pennsylvanian culinary culture is represented by the whoopie pie, which sometimes referred to as a gob. The gob is made of two small disks of chocolate, which are united by a creamy frosting.  Hot bacon dressing is a sweet and sour warm dressing placed over bitter greens such as dandelion leaves or regular lettuce.  It is made with bacon, vinegar, flour, sugar, water, and salt and pepper.

Preparation Methods for Pennsylvania Dutch Cooking Edit

The preparation of different local stews, main courses and mixtures of spices and herbs requires time and technique. Technique is typified by the cooking procedure: fresh or uncooked fruits, boiled veggies, mashed aliments, oil fried plants and meat, chopped greens and minced meat. Pennsylvania Dutch people use many herbs and spices, which are usually dried before cooking and chopped. Almost all onions and garlic included in the meals are chopped and tomatoes are peeled and then mashed for sauces and different pastas. Using the right amount of spices for example is essential – either for spicing up the taste or for coloring the dish.

Special Equipment for Pennsylvania Dutch Cooking Edit

Pennsylvania Dutch cooking requires regular equipment, like the one found in the Western and American culture. Needed instruments are the sauce pans for stews and soups and large ones to preheat the oil for mixtures or meat. Pennsylvania Dutch people love the ceramics and the pottery making is a very important and artistic craft. Besides the rustic items of pottery and ceramics, the more practical equipment include condensate pots, orifice plates, flow elements and catch pots in different forms and sizes. The cutlery is usually made of sterling silver and the plates that the Pennsylvania Dutch people use are both flat and deep: bowls are used for soups and for some of the seafood and veggies.

Pennsylvania Dutch Food Traditions and Festivals Edit

The special holiday meals and traditional dishes in the Pennsylvania and Dutch cuisine are simple in mixtures and combinations, yet rich and full of flavors. Still, the meals are complex and prepared with special techniques when they are served on festive dinners. The pickled boiled eggs are very famous Pennsylvania Dutch appetizers and they are prepared of hardboiled eggs with beets, vinegar and sugar, then left in the refrigerator before consuming them. This recipe is included in most of the celebration and holidays menus. The Christmas menu includes rich meals, such as roasted pig, various salads and complex garnishes of potatoes, tomatoes and cabbage, which are integrated in fresh and seasoned salads. Apple butter is the sweeter variant of the applesauce, as it is produced by the slow cooking of apples in sugar – this recipe is included in the seven sweets and seven sours dinner table, which is characteristic of Pennsylvanian Dutch celebrations.

People in Pennsylvania Dutch Food Edit

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The Pennsylvania and Dutch people are trying to conserve their culture and celebrations through special dishes, preparations, decors and general atmosphere. Food brings people together and family is very important in the American culture; food means gathering and sharing, values that these inhabitants of the Pennsylvanian region cherish. the chefs of the Dutch and Pennsylvania cuisine blend the elements of these 2 significant cuisines, into an authentic culinary culture. Whether they are cooking dishes that belong to past history or meals which belong to modern times, Pennsylvanian chefs take pride in what they do, and this fact is readily noticeable in the unique taste of their cooking.

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