Lancaster is to me synonymous with Pennsylvania Dutch food and a trip to Lancaster is always a great excuse to indulge in some of my favorite Amish delicacies. Although Ohio has a large Amish population and you often see Amish butter, cheese or vegetables I haven’t found anything quite like Lebanon Bologna, my all time favorite lunch meat.
There is something about the tangy flavor that I crave and makes most other summer sausages or bologna taste bland by comparison. To satisfy my craving for smoked fermented meat products I was taken to S. Clyde Weaver’s. A local institution since 1920, with an impressive selection of local meats, cheeses, pretzels and speciality foods. They also have a cafe and make a mean sub.
Pennsylvania Dutch food is well suited for road trips, with all sorts of wonderful portable foods. You can stock up on dark, hard pretzels, whoopie pies, beef jerky and root beer. A Lebanon Bologna sub made a great rest stop lunch break. Much better than having to stop at a service station.
Not so portable but hard to resist is the rich molasses flavored shoofly pie, another local delicacy and another childhood memory.
I was treated to a traditional Lancaster breakfast of fried scrapple and eggs. Scrapple is easier to find in Ohio and I believe it is similar to another Ohio delicacy goetta which I have yet to try. Scrapple reminds me of haggis, something made with left over offal, some filler and seasoning, both born from an age when no part of an animal was wasted, but while haggis is made with sheep offal and oatmeal, scrapple is made with pork offal and cornmeal.
The flavor of scrapple is similar to country sausage given the combination of pork and sage. The texture once cooked is crisp and crusty on the outside and smooth and mushy in the middle. It is one of the few things that I eat ketchup with.
At S. Clyde Weaver I also discovered my new favorite potato chips, dill pickle flavor chips from Route 11. These hand cooked chips are made by a small company based in the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia, but luckily they are available at Weiland’s in Columbus so I can continue to feed my addiction. They taste unnervingly pickle-like but with a little more emphasis on the dill and a little less vinegar. They are perfectly light and crunchy and a great accompaniment to a sandwich or hot dog. They have a wide range of flavors, but so far the dill pickle have not been surpassed.