Pennsylvania Dutch
and Midwest Farm cuisines

Food tips you can trust


Pennsylvania Dutch

Bountiful family-style meals

The Pennsylvania Dutch (including the Amish and Mennonites) practice a simple religious life without modern conveniences. Because this includes motor vehicles, horses are used to plow and harvest (see photo).

But they make up for the amenity sacrifices by preparing vast spreads. They are served buffet or family-table style, instead of by course.


Virtually mandatory is the Seven Sweets and Seven Sours. It consists of homemade preparations such as chow-chow and piccalilli relishes, and the famous Shoofly Pie. Other culinary mainstays include scrapple (pork scraps cooked with cornmeal), potpies (large flat noodles) and Pepper Pot (tripe soup-stew).

Midwest Farm

Homespun simplicity

The Midwest is the breadbasket of America, particularly for wheat, corn and soybeans. Its farm cooking is simple and lightly seasoned. And, it is served family style in copious quantities to fuel work-intensive farmers. Tables are laden with fried or stewed chicken, pork chops, meatloafs, pot roasts, mashed potatoes, fresh vegetables, and home-baked apple pies.


Cooking plays a major cultural role. Friends and neighbors gather for the legendary Midwest rural potlucks, church suppers, and state fair food-judging contests.

Learn my American tips
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Photo by Joe Schneid - CC BY 3.0



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