Tuesday, July 7, 2009

WAY out of the normal realm of posts

Ok - this one is so far into left field that I hope I don't alienate my readers (I don't think I will). It's not about fishing at all - it's about FOOD.





I recently returned from our summer vacation. My wife and I both grew up in the SE Penn. city of Lebanon, adjacent to PA Dutch country. We haven't gotten back there very often though, and wanted to be sure we made time for our son to spend time with his grandparents and other relatives. In short - the trip was great. Even with NO fishing. What we really like on trips like this is the LOCAL FOOD. You know - the stuff you can't get when you move away.





As I said, we grew up in PA and stayed there until I was 30. Then, we moved to Syracuse NY for a 10 year stint. the summers are fabulous in upstate NY, but the 10 month long winters wore me out (and I LOVE winter!) The 10 months of winter might be an exaggeration, but it doesn't seem like much of one. Anyway, we moved onto the midwest 10 years ago and now live in the western 'burbs of Chicago.





When we return to visit PA, our first stop is usually Pete's Pizza in Lebanon. It was our favorite growing up and is still the best we've ever had. We always get cheesesteaks - no, they're not authentic Phillie steaks like Pat's or Geno's, but they're pretty good - miles ahead of the garbage passed off as Phila. Cheesesteaks elsewhere. Then there's the good stuff - Lebanon Bologna, chips, pretzels, and Tastykakes. I know some of you must be thinking "Bologna? We have bologna - no big deal" The typical tan colored, yucky bologna is barely even recognizable as meat, let alone a meat that makes your mouth water. It really needs to be experienced to be appreciated. My picture will have to take the place of a taste.





Seltzer's Old Fahioned Double Smoked Swet Bologna - food of the gods!


Chips? The Lebanon / Lancaster / Reading / York areas may be home to more small potato chip producers than anywhere. I don't know that for a fact, but I've never been anywhere else where a grocery store has an entire aisle loaded with up to 15 different makers of chips. The best of these (IMHO) have 3 simple ingredients: potato, salt, and lard. Perhaps not the top of the list of healthiest snacks, but they are delicious. Dieffenbach's, Good's, Ray and Kay's, Grandma Utz, Groff's, Bickell's - all great. Comparing these chips to the national fare like Lay's is akin to comparing prime aged angus beef to roadkill.



Pretzels? the Julius Sturgis pretzel factory in Lititz is famous for their wonderful pretzels and you can get fresh soft pretzels at the factory. But my favorite pretzel is from a tiny producer in Lebanon - Shuey's Pretzels. They are sold only in the local Farmers Market or directly from the baker. Saturday is soft pretzel day - get there early or you'll be out of luck. Great pretzels.



Tastykakes are made in Philadelphia and found only in the PA / MD / Jersey area - until recently. We now get a FEW varieties out in the midwest. They are pies, sweets, baked goods going by names like Krimpets (with their butterscotch icing) and Kandy Kakes. When you grow up eating these treats, you miss them when you can't get them.



Our attachment to NY foods isn't as deeply rooted, but there are a few key things we miss. First and foremost are spiedies. Spiedies are actually from Binghamton, but we enjoyed them in Syracuse , too, and are staples at the NY State Fair. Simply put, the y are chicken strips soaked in a vinegar and herb marinade and grilled, usually on a kabob. the key, of course, is the marinade. I brought back 8 bottles of marinade from our trip! (There are spiedies marinating in our frig right now) Beef on weck - a Buffalo specialty with thin sliced roast beef on a salted kummelweck roll - wasn't on the agenda this trip, but I WILL get one sooner or later!



So - what are the local foods you can't live without? If you've never moved, you might not even know! We never realized that potato chips were lousy in other parts of the world until we couldn't get our favorites.



My motto - if I can't be fishing, I might as well eat!!! Hope I didn't alienate too many people.



Wolfy

10 comments:

Shoreman said...

Hey Wolfy. Welcome back from vacation. We had chips out here (California) called Buffalo Chips. Made on the plains of Sacramento. One of the great potato chips. Unfortunately they didn't survive. Wonder how much of the things you miss from back East, you could order on the Internet? Most everything is out there.

Mark (Shoreman)

The Fisherbabe said...

Totally Unrelated to your post (which was good by the way) but are you going to ICAST? Have you been before?

You can email me if you wanna keep your comments clear of chatter ;)

fisherbabestaff@fisherbabe.com

Wolfy said...

Lizzie - email sent

Wolfy

Eastern canada vacations said...

Our life together had swung into full motion. I had moved from Calgary to Edmonton so we could be a unit. We pooled our finances and moved Kathy and her daughers from Mayo Manor, (I still chuckle when I hear that name), the apartment Kathy had rented, to a three bedroom townhouse on the west side of Edmonton we had purchased together. We were now officially a couple. A 'common law couple'. Quietly and secretly, without really admitting it to ourselves, or each other, we had made a commitment. Our life together was unfolding and laying itself before us. However, no matter how far ahead the path we looked, ‘The Cottage’ was never tangeable. It was never within reach. It was only as real as a bright rainbow in the blue sky. An incubus. We tucked it away in that place you put dreams when they are on hold, or appear too far away to ever become a reality. We had to prepare for the biggest move of our lives together. Our move to Eastern Canada. To Ontario

Crusie said...

Made on the plains of Sacramento. One of the great potato chips. Unfortunately they didn't survive. Wonder how much of the things you miss from back East, you could order on the Internet?

Facts About Africa said...

At the moment, we are a very casual guild that is going to focus on recruitment for the time being. Zorad, and myself, are the two Guildmasters from Cape Town in South Africa. We are however, looking at members all over the world. We are not raiding etc... at the moment, but in due time, we will get there.

Our main focus is to enjoy the game of World Of Warcraft!

If you are interested, then please fill in the recruitment form on our website. We will look forward to hearing from you.

Things to do said...

One of the great potato chips. Unfortunately they didn't survive. Wonder how much of the things you miss from back East, you could order on the Internet

Arches National Park said...

Quietly and secretly, without really admitting it to ourselves, or each other, we had made a commitment. Our life together was unfolding and laying itself before us. However, no matter how far ahead the path we looked, ‘The Cottage’ was never tangeable. It was never within reach. It was only as real as a bright rainbow in the blue sky. An incubus. We tucked it away in that place you put dreams when they are on hold, or appear too far away to ever become a reality. We had to prepare for the biggest move of our lives together. Our move to Eastern Canada. To Ontario

Travel to Europe said...

A 'common law couple'. Quietly and secretly, without really admitting it to ourselves, or each other, we had made a commitment. Our life together was unfolding and laying itself before us. However, no matter how far ahead the path we looked, ‘The Cottage’ was never tangeable.

Best Ski Resorts said...

Quietly and secretly, without really admitting it to ourselves, or each other, we had made a commitment. Our life together was unfolding and laying itself before us. However, no matter how far ahead the path we looked, ‘The Cottage’ was never tangeable.