Monday, May 13, 2019
~ Pennsylvania Dutch phrase for “Come eat”
The Hamburg Diner advertises its Pennsylvania Dutch fare on its sign on a late June afternoon in historic Hamburg, Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, the diner closed after 50 years in business in May 2018, a month before I shot this high contrast monochrome image. Hopefully it will reopen!
The Pennsylvania Dutch are a cultural group formed by early German-speaking immigrants to Pennsylvania and their descendants. The word “Dutch” does not refer to Dutch people or language, but to the German settlers known as Deutsch in standard German and Deitsch in the principal dialect they spoke, Palatine German.
Most emigrated to the Americas from Germany or Switzerland in the 17th and 18th centuries. Over time, the various dialects spoken by these immigrants fused into a unique dialect of German known as Pennsylvania German or Pennsylvania “Dutch.” At one time, more than one third of Pennsylvania’s population spoke this language.
Pennsylvania Dutch specialties include Schnitz un knepp ( a dish of ham or pork shoulder with dried apple and dumplings), apple butter, baked apple, chicken and waffles, Chow-chow, cole slaw, corn fritters, Lebanon bologna, pork and sauerkraut, potato filling, pot pie, fastnachts, funnel cake, funny cake, angel food cake, whoopee pies, shoofly pie, sugar cookies, root beer and birch beer.
As I am half Irish and half Pennsylvania German, I grew up with much of these tasty offerings because my late grandmother was a wonderful baker and cook, and fastnachts, shoofly pie and angel food cake were my favorites of hers.
Hamburg, Pennsylvania, officially founded in 1787, was named after Hamburg, Germany.
The phrase “Dutch Treat” refers to an outing, meal or other special occasion at which each participant pays for their share of the expenses.