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When I got to college one of the biggest things that surprised me was how many of my friends had never heard of my favorite foods. I grew up in Sinking Spring, Pennsylvania and never realized the amount of dishes I grew up on were regionally specific. Whenever one of my favorite Pennsylvania Dutch dishes is served in the dining hall I get so excited to share it with my friends. So here is a list of Pennsylvania Dutch dishes I highly suggest you try if you ever get the chance!

  • Ham Balls – these are similar to meatballs but they are made with ham and covered in a sweet pineapple glaze. 
  • Whoopie pies – two soft cakelike cookies with a cream filling in the middle, what’s not to love? They come in a wide variety of flavors, my personal favorite is a chocolate whoopie pie with peanut butter icing filling.
  • Shoofly pie – a dish that used to be considered breakfast but is now often eaten for dessert, it is made with a molasses bottom and a crumb top.
  • Apple dumpling – a cored apple covered in brown sugar, cinnamon, and butter, covered with flaky dough. I highly recommend eating it warm with some ice cream.
  • Fastnachts – Fastnacht Day, which is the day before Lent, is coming up soon so be sure to grab one of these donut like desserts and cover it in powdered sugar on Fat Tuesday.
  • Tandy cakes – a thin layer of cake covered in peanut butter with a layer of chocolate on top, tastes just like a homemade candy bar!
  • Red beet eggs – hard boiled eggs soaked in beet juice, cider vinegar, sugar and salt to create an unmistakable flavor and color.

The next time you see one of these items on a menu be sure to give them a try!

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Lily Snyder

Lafayette '25

Hi! I am a freshman at Lafayette College studying engineering!
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