Unique Foods of Lancaster

October 1, 2019

Everywhere has unique foods, cheesecakes in Philly, alligator in Louisiana, and clam chowder in Boston. Eating your way across America is one of the best ways to sample different foods from unique cultures. In Lancaster County, we have a couple of special treats of our own and if you happen to stop by, then we have quite the bucket lists of foods you should try. 

This post is all about Unique Foods of Lancaster PA


Head to a diner during your time in Lancaster and you might be a bit confused to see scrapple listed as one of the side dishes, right next to bacon and sausage. Scrapple is made of pork scraps and trimmings mixed with cornmeal, flour, and spices to create a loaf.  It's then sliced thin and pan-fried to create a tasty, filling dish that Pennsylvanians love. Try a slice with an over-easy egg, a side of pancakes and some orange juice.  You can thank me later!


Shoofly Pie

Have you ever had a molasses cookie? That sweet, cinnamon-gingery spice in a soft and chewy cookie is only amplified in this Pennsylvania Dutch delight. The shoofly (yes, pronounced shoo-fly) pie is a molasses cake baked into a pie crust for easier eating. While most people think of pie as a dessert item, you should grab a slice and enjoy it with black coffee in the morning. 


Pot Pie

You might be curious why Pot Pie is on this list. If you are curious, it is only because you haven’t had a Lancaster pot pie. In most parts of the world, a pot pie is a flaky crust filled with a creamy chicken and vegetable center, but in Lancaster County, you’ll find something a bit different, something that will change pot pie forever. An Amish-style pot pie still has the warm, creamy chicken and vegetable filling, but instead of a flaky crust, it's served with homemade noodles mixed into your dish. Don’t knock it until you try it! This is the perfect comfort food during winter & fall in Lancaster PA. 


Whoopie Pie

You may have heard of whoopie pies before and you may have tasted one at a bakery, but this Lancaster County treat is best in its hometown. (We don't care what those people up in Maine say, Whoopie Pies were invented HERE!)  The Amish and German communities in Lancaster County used to make these little cookies out of leftover cake batter.  When children and farmers used to find them they would yell out “Whoopie!” You can buy these little sandwich cookies all over the town, from bakeries to roadside stands and in homes all over. 


Hog Maw 

Stick with me here when I say that when in Lancaster, you’ve got to try Hog Maw, more commonly known as pig stomach. We get it, it may not be the traditional protein you’re used to at home.  But stuffed with potatoes, cabbage, onion, and browned pork, cooked and topped with melted butter, this dish is delicious for those willing to try it. This wintertime favorite is enjoyed on especially chilly days as the perfect warm-up comfort food and on New Year’s Day as a good luck dish. 


Apple Butter

Some people put jam on their toast, others spread butter, but in Lancaster County, toast is topped with the irresistible, creamy, sweet apple butter. While there is no actual butter included in apple butter, the name comes from the fact that the apple butter is so smooth and spreadable like room temperature butter. Spread it on pancakes, waffles, bread, or another Lancaster favorite: on top of cottage cheese. You’ll find jars of apple butter goodness all over and you’ll want to grab at least three: one for you to try, one for you to eat on the way home, and one to give to a friend if you don’t eat it on the way home too. Alright. Make it four jars. Five to be safe. 


If you are coming to Lancaster County, then stop on into one of our little bakeries for a whoopie pie, a diner for some pancakes with apple butter and a side of scrapple, or one of the traditional Amish restaurants to try our famous pot pies. After a couple of these dishes, you may even turn into a Lancaster County Foodie too.


Ready to eat your way through Lancaster County? Book a stay at the Historic Smithton Inn, a charming & modern bed and breakfast in Ephrata, PA.

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