An interesting looking new book is out that describes the history of Pennsylvania Dutch cooking. The terms Amish and Pennsylvania Dutch are used almost interchangeable by some people, but it only works like a one way street. Most Amish can be considered Pennsylvania Dutch, but not all Pennsylvania Dutch are Amish. Pennsylvania Dutch is an umbrella term that can include various creeds and cultures from Catholics, Lutherans, Mennonites, Moravians and various Orthodox churches to Germans, French, Czech, and Slovaks. Anabaptists, including Amish, are also considered Pennsylvania Dutch. The term Pennsylvania Dutch encompasses a wide range of people who settled in rural eastern parts of the Keystone State beginning in the 17 century. The people developed their own dialect, culture and customs that shapes the area to this day.Pennsylvania Dutch cooking and customs are celebrated annually at the Kutztown Folk Festival. I think it is the fragmentation of the Pennsylvania Dutch (some being Amish, others being Lutherans, some speaking German, others French) that kept the culture from really capturing the imagination in the same way that Cajun culture has done in Louisiana. Author William Woy Weaver explores and chronicles the influence of Pennsylvania Dutch cooking in his new book:As American As Shoofly Pie: The Foodlore and Fakelore of Pennsylvania Dutch Cooking. The book sets the record straight on what Pennsylvania Dutch cooking really is, its roots, and its future, plus shares some recipes. I absolutely want to get my hands on a copy of this book because this topic really interests me. The evolution of culinary culture is really at the heart of my new book, Amish Cooks Across America, come out in a few weeks. I will write more about William Woy Weaver’s book in the future and try to line him up for a podcast. So stay tuned for more! You can read more about As American As Shoofly Pie in an article that appeared in the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania newspaper over the weekend.
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