Pennsylvania Dutch/German

Pennsylvania Dutch/German

Postings on AZBlog about the culture and history of (primarily) Palatinate Germans in America, known vernacularly as Pennsylvania Dutch, and about AMZ’s Pa. Dutch family

The bulk of this Page — up to a line of ellipsis dots after 4/22/18 — is the work of Kim Darnell in June 2018

5/8/10: Short shots #45: maple-apple scrapple: Short shots #45: maple-apple scrapple

Fried scrapple — scraps of meat stewed with cornmeal and shaped into loaves, is part of a complete breakfast in Pennsylvania Dutch country, though scarcely part of a heart-healthy diet

3/8/11: Fasnacht Day: Fasnacht Day

In Pennsylvania Dutch country, Fasnacht Day (a.k.a. Fat Tuesday) is time for pre-Lenten excesses, including the rites of Carnival, pancakes, and doughnuts

4/10/11: Vernacular ethnonyms: Vernacular ethnonyms

In Pennsylvania Dutch country the “Dutch” ethnic identity was significant. In the old days, the opposite of vernacular Dutch was English, presumably a survival of the main ethnic divisions in the area in the 18th and 19th centuries

5/24/11: Chow-chow: Chow-chow

Musings on a staple of Pennsylvania Dutch country: chow-chow, a sweet-and-sour relish with influences from around North America

5/25/11: Ralph and Monty: Ralph and Monty

Including a reminiscence of AMZ’s Pennsylvania Dutch grandmother describing the physical presence of her husband, who died young during the great flu epidemic

5/2/12: Old recipes III: milk pie: Old recipes III: milk pie

A Pennsylvania Dutch treat, these are “poor man’s pies” made from bits of pie crust left over from making more substantial pies, plus minimal other ingredients. The result is something in between a piecrust bar and a (very shallow) pie. And the things have many names

6/19/12: Arrowheads: Arrowheads

Examples of late 18th/early 19th century arrowheads, including two found by AMZ’s Pennsylvania Dutch grandmother while she was working in the tobacco fields as a young child in the 1880s in Lancaster County PA

11/30/12: Nightmare stories: Nightmare stories

On the classic childhood story character Struwwelpeter, also known as Slovenly Peter (offered in Mark Twain’s 1891 translation), Shockheaded Peter, Shock-haired Peter, and Strivvely Peter (Pennsylvania Dutch)

3/613: Chicken and waffles: Chicken and waffles

There are two versions of chicken and waffles that are popular in the U.S.: the sweet soul food version that involves maple syrup and the savory Pennsylvania Dutch version with chicken gravy

7/1/13: Briefly noted: pronouncing Lutz: Briefly noted: pronouncing Lutz

On Pennsylvania Dutch pronunciations of names like Lutz, Kutztown, and putz

12/30/14: potpie: potpie

Chicken pot pie is typically a savory pie filled with stew (clasically, chicken, with carrots, peas, onions, and celery) and topped a piecrust — unless of course you’re Pennsylvania Dutch, in

7/8/15: birch beer: birch beer

On some delicious products from Pennsylvania Dutch country, including birch beer, root beer, and bova shankel

8/31/15: Eat your weeds: Eat your weeds

On edible plants that are often treated as weeds, but are popular in Pennsylvania Dutch country in the form of wilted-greens salads, typically served with a hot, vinegary dressing

9/28/15: Leberkäs(e): Leberkäs(e)

Leberkäs(e), or “liver cheese”, is a close cousin of sausage, but formed into a loaf rather than encased in a skin. It comes from a region of Germany close to Rheinland-Pfalz, where the ancestors of the Pennsylvania Dutch came from

11/23/15: motion-goal BE: motion-goal BE

Pennsylvania Dutch is one of the dialects of American English where one can say both, “I was to the store today” as well as “I’ve been to the store today.” In most cases, however, motion-goal BE is restricted to the perfect tense

11/26/15: stuffing, dressing, filling: stuffing, dressing, filling

In some parts of Pennsylvania Dutch country, the mixture of bread, meat, vegetables, and spices that is used to fill the body cavity of a roasting bird is called “filling,” although “stuffing” and “dressing” are also possible

5/3//16: Morning names: thistles!: Morning names: thistles!

Triggered by the family name Diestel (probably prompted by the Diestel Turkey Ranch in Sonoma that supplies turkeys and turkey products to Whole Foods), then on to the French singer Sacha Distel, and the distelfink folk art figure of the Pennsylvania Dutch country

6/16/17: Father and grandfather: Father and grandfather

A bit more for Fathers Day, with photos from the Pennsylvania Dutch country of the last century, more Alpen-Flora, and some reflections on social class

8/30/17: Pennsylvania Dutch country: Pennsylvania Dutch country

Inspired by the discovery of an old paperback copy of Ruth Hutchison’s The New Pennsylvania Dutch Cook Book, some of the history and geography of Pennsylvania Dutch country, including detailed maps

9/1/17: On the food watch: Texas fried: On the food watch: Texas fried

As state fair time comes to an end, some musings on classic fair and carnival food, with a focus on what are known in Pennsylvania Dutch as funnel cakes— fried dough related to a treat shared thoughout the crescent from northern India through Andalusia in Spain

9/24/17: A sapsucking planthopper: A sapsucking planthopper

A sapsucking planthopper, draft horses, covered bridges, and distelfinks, all connected to memories of growing up in Pennsylvania Dutch country near Reading, PA

4/22/18: Pestilences in Pa. Dutch country: Pestilences in Pa. Dutch country

From 3/12/18 issue of The New Yorker, a horrifying, funny, deeply disgusting piece by Kathryn Schulz about Halyomorpha halys, the brown marmorated stink bug / stinkbug, the first specimens of which were collected in Allentown PA, in Pennsylvania Dutch country


Material added by AMZ after 4/22/18:

7/10/18: Swiss cheese isn’t Swiss: Swiss cheese isn’t Swiss

(Pa.) Dutch Swiss (cow) cheese

8/3/18: Ruthie and the language of doughnuts: Ruthie and the language of doughnuts



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