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What and amazing place. A rich history, food culture, Amish presence, beautiful nature, and an interesting blend of political viewpoints. Here you will find sweet heart warming farmers alongside "yee haw" gun toting Trump supporters. Either way though Pennsylvania has a certain charm. It does depend on where you go because the state is quite varied in its contents. It's a mixed bag. For the purpose of today we will be focusing on the region in and around Gettysburg, where you will find the most antique stores in the US per capita, beautiful old architecture, rolling farmlands, the battlefield, and a very interesting Pennsylvania Dutch food culture. For a little context I have been visiting here for over ten years because of my girlfriend Eve, her family lives in the small town of Hannover not too far outside of Gettysburg. Whenever we visit, I always try to spend some time with the Amish, buy fruits from little farm stands, eat at tiny greasy spoon diners, visit quaint bakeries, and go antiquing to improve my collection of catering display items. Although Eve's family is crazy (in the best of ways) we always have a fun time. Pennsylvania was once settled by the Germans and thus has influences from that food culture like potato salad and pickled beets, and restaurants straight up serving sausage and sour kraut. The Amish have their own thing going on, focussed on super fresh local ingredients, and lots of sweets. They will put it in anything, and honestly I don't mind. We have the pleasure of knowing a few of theses families and were invited to see their basement filled with jars of food. One thing is for sure, they are incredibly self sufficient. Getting back to the food, have you ever heard of an "apple dumpling?" If you have, good for you, I hope you had a good one. If not, it is basically a whole apple, cored out, filled with butter, sugar, and cinnamon, and wrapped in a flakey puff pastry. Baked until golden brown, it is a personal apple pie. Best to use a granny smith apple for the tartness to balance with all the rich sweet flavors. Another thing is: The fresh noodles and chicken pot pie. Instead of making a crust go all the way around the pie, they roll out oddly cut noodles made with hot milk, which are very tender, and boil them in the chicken soup. Another interesting one is "scrapple" which is a blend of corn flower, organ meat, and stew meet with spices. It is shaped into a loaf, then sliced and fried with breakfast. Delicious. Reminds me of "haggis" in Ireland. I can go on about the different foods here, but it will probably be easier to communicate that with pictures. Come to Gettysburg and enjoy the rich history, kind hearted people, and watch out for the rusty pickup trucks with confederate flags on them. I told you, it's a mixed bag.

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