There are some unusual native foods in Lancaster County. You won’t find these anywhere else. And if you do, they won’t be authentic.
Few foods inspire such polar reactions as cup cheese. Think of it as the Plain-sect equivalent of brie (made in a cup), only more sour and stinky. People who love cup cheese, swear by it. Just as many, and perhaps more, think it’s gross and won’t touch the stuff.
Exactly what it sounds like. Take the stomach of a pig, stuff it with ground sausage, potatoes, cabbage and spices, roast it low and slow for a couple hours and what comes out is for many a regional delicacy. Chewy with a wholly unique pork flavor, pig stomach is a food to try just to say you’ve done it.
Only serious eaters would think to put the dough inside the filling. Mostly made with chicken, but occasionally made with beef, pot pie is a fragrant, often thick stew of meat, onion, potato (sometimes) and dough squares, seasoned with saffron. It makes a hearty meal in the colder months.
Thrift and efficiency are essential traits of the Pennsylvania Dutch that extend to cuisine, thus scrapple. When the pig’s been butchered, what’s left over gets made into scrapple, which consists of pork innards, cornmeal, flour and spices. Scrapple ranges from mild and mealy to bold and firm. Folks in Lancaster County eat it plain or with maple syrup, jelly or ketchup.
This magical mélange of molasses, brown sugar, butter and flour embodies the simple, unwritten philosophy of Pennsylvania Dutch cooking: Embrace starch. A shoofly pie with perfect consistency will glisten when cut, but not run. There’s shoofly cake, too—a staple of church socials.
— Michael Long