Thursday, May 19, 2011


In his book Yo Mama Cooks Like a Yankee, author Sharon Hernes Silverman calls Pennsylvania the snack food capital of the world. It leads all other states in the manufacture of pretzels and potato chips. The Sturgis Pretzel House introduced the pretzel to America, and companies like Anderson Bakery Company, Intercourse Pretzel Factory, and Snyder's of Hanover are leading manufacturers in the Commonwealth. Two of the three companies that define the U.S. potato chip industry are based in Pennsylvania: Utz Quality Foods, Inc., which started making chips in Hanover, Pennsylvania in 1921, and Wise Snack Foods which started making chips in Berwick in 1921 (the third, Lay's Potato Chips, is a Texas company). Other companies such as Herr Foods, Martin's Potato Chips, Snyder's of Berlin (not associated with Snyder's of Hanover) and Troyer Farms Potato Products are popular chip manufacturers.
The U.S. chocolate industry is centered in Hershey, Pennsylvania, with Mars, Godiva, and Wilbur Chocolate Company nearby, and smaller manufacturers such as Asher's near Lansdale and Gertrude Hawk of Dunmore. Other notable companies include Just Born in Bethlehem, PA, makers of Hot Tamales, Mike and Ikes, and the Easter favorite marshmallow Peeps, Benzel's Pretzels and Boyer Brothers of Altoona, PA, which is well known for its Mallo Cups. Auntie Anne's Pretzels began as a market-stand in Downingtown, PA and now has corporate headquarters in Lancaster City. Traditional Pennsylvania Dutch foods include chicken potpie, schnitz un knepp (dried apples, hame, and dumplings), fasnachts (raised doughnuts), scrapple, pretzels, bologna, and chow-chow. Shoofly is another traditional Pennsylvanian Dutch food.D.G. Yuengling & Son, America's oldest brewery, has been brewing beer in Pottsville since 1829.
Among the regional foods associated with Philadelphia are cheesesteaks, hoagie, soft pretzels, liver on a stick, Italian water ice, scrapple, Tastykake, and strombolis. In Pittsburgh, tomato ketchup was improved by Henry John Heinz from 1876 to the early 20th century. Famous to a lesser extent than Heinz ketchup are the Pittsburgh's Primanti Brothers Restaurant sandwiches, pierogies, and city chicken. Outside of Scranton, in Old Forge there are dozens of Italian restaurants specializing in pizza made unique by thick, light crust and American cheese. Erie also has its share of unique foods, including Greek sauce, sponge candy, pepperoni balls, and ox roast. Sauerkraut along with pork and mashed potatoes is a common meal on New Year's Day in Pennsylvania.

No comments:

Post a Comment