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Pennsylvania Dutch Country Cooking Hardcover – September, 1993
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Long before the rest of America decided to get back to healthy basics in their cooking and eating habits, the Pennsylvania Dutch were happily living off the land. Among their fertile, rolling hills and lush green fields, these farm folk speak about their distinctive cuisine in a language that, in some parts of the United States, has been spoken longer than English. Pennsylfaanisch names grace every recipe in Pennsylvania Dutch Country Cooking, and to help non-Pennsylfaanisch speakers with pronunciation, there's a guide and even a glossary of additional food terms. But what's in a name? It's the cooking that counts in this compendium of more than 100 authentic recipes that are both delicious and healthy. There are recipes for breads, soups and noodles, meats, vegetables, and even a section for special holiday feasts. There are beverages such as Wheatland Harvest Tea, made from spearmint, lemon balm, tarragon, and bergamot leaves; desserts such as Hickory Nut Dumplings, served with stewed peaches; and recipes for rye, buckeye, sourdough, and potato breads, among many others.
As if the recipes alone weren't enough, Pennsylvania Dutch Country Cooking is brimming with photographs of the countryside, the gardens, the people, and, of course, the foods of this special place. This is a book that feeds the soul as well as the body, a feast for the eyes as well as the table. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
From Publishers Weekly
The term "Pennsylvania Dutch cooking" covers a lot of ground, and almost has to. In this meticulously researched book, Weaver ( Quaker Woman's Cookbook ), a 13th-generation Pennsylvanian and Mennonite descendent, clearly and insightfully explains the complex heritage of the people now known as the Pennsylvania Dutch, discussing their history and the meetings of New World and European traditions. The book evokes the close harmony between a people, the seasons, and the food they grow and cook. With beautiful photographs and ample illustrations, this is an excellent introduction to a complicated regional history and culture. Each recipe is accompanied by a brief explanation of its place in that culture. The recipes, however, are not to be taken up lightly; though Weaver has done an outstanding job of adapting them to the modern kitchen, they require both skill and time, and the use of labor-saving devices is not favored. Many recipes call for homemade stocks and organic grains, and will require the reader to hunt down ingredients in specialty shops. Some, like "hinkeldarremkuche" (chickweed pie), even call for readers to harvest their own chickweed. But for those with the dedication, culinary delights await: Christmas "mummeli" (gingerbread men), "hickeniss-gnepp" (hickory-nut dumplings) and "forty-nine beans," the Penn Dutch answer to applejack. A sturdy source list is provided.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top customer reviews
The book opens with a background chapter on the origins and cultural history of the PA Dutch. The emphasis is not solely on the Amish, but instead features the broader culture(s) and cuisine(s) of all of the immigrants from German speaking lands, who started arriving in PA during the colonial period. It was from these roots, along with borrowings from surrounding cultures, that a German/Swiss/Alsatian influenced regional style of cooking evolved on American soil, using locally available ingredients.
The book is organized by types of recipes e.g., soups and noodles, breads, pork, fowl and holiday foods. The recipes not only give ingredients and proportions, but also frequently provide additional history, cultural information and variations. A more comprehensive detailed index is given at the end by food category, and local sources of harder to find ingredients are given. Recipes are given English and traditional dialect names. There is a dictionary of dialect culinary terms at the end of the book.
Recipes cover not only well known one-pot meals, sometimes with interesting variations, but also more elegant and exotic dishes, using ingredients such as venison, oysters, pheasant, turkey, eel, rabbit and goose eggs. There are also many recipes for PA Dutch style condiments, such as flavored vinegars.
As mentioned by others, the photography is beautiful. I became home-sick just looking at the picture on the dust jacket. The recipes and cultural information are well researched. Weaver has PA Dutch ancestors and is a well known expert on regional foods and heirloom gardening. He knows what he is talking about. If you are only familiar with a few iconic dishes, or have fallen for the faux tourist version of the cuisine, you may be very surprised and the wide range of known recipes and cooking styles that Weaver has researches and presented in this wonderful book.
For those interested in regional/ethnic cuisine, and for those of PA Dutch origins wanting to get in touch with something more authentic than the misinformation that abounds about all things PA Dutch (German), this is a great place to start.
Where else would one find such unusual recipes as 'Stuffed Pig's Stomach', 'Scrapple', and 'Paffefatzle'? Also included are good recipes for Shoo-Fly pie and Moravian Sugar cake - both worth making a part of ones' 'repertoire' because they are just good, plain eating!
The illustrations are beautiful and help make some of the recipes more understandable. Pa. Dutch Country Cooking is not only a handy recipe book to own, but one very enjoyable to read.
It also has beautiful photographs. I am a native Pennsylvanian and have hundreds of cookbooks; this is among my favorites. I appreciate it as much for the history as the recipes.
However, this is far more than just a cookbook. Interspersed are stories about the history of PA Dutch cooking as well as anecdotes about the culture. In addition, there is a glossary of PA Dutch food terms and a list of stores that sell local ingredients, a feature that is certainly helpful in tracking down otherwise hard-to-find ingredients. Aesthetically, this is a beautiful cookbook as well, with many mouth-watering pictures of the culinary specialties of the region. I would highly recommend this cookbook for anyone who is at all interested in the cuisine or the culture of PA Dutch country.
Besides being a cookbook, this book contains stories about the history of PA Dutch cooking as well as anecdotes about the culture. In addition, there is a glossary of PA Dutch food terms and a list of stores that sell local ingredients. Aesthetically, this is a beautiful cookbook as well, with many mouth-watering pictures of the region's culinary specialties.