Penn Press logo
As American as Shoofly Pie
Search the full text of this book:

Powered by Google

As American as Shoofly Pie
The Foodlore and Fakelore of Pennsylvania Dutch Cuisine

William Woys Weaver

328 pages | 6 x 9 | 59 illus.
Cloth 2013 | ISBN 9780812244793 | $34.95a | Outside the Americas £26.99
Paper 2017 | ISBN 9780812223866 | $26.50a | Outside the Americas £19.99
Ebook editions are available from selected online vendors
View table of contents and excerpt

"Weaver seems to have had a ripping good time unmasking the fake Pennsylvania Dutch tourist culture, with its hex signs (bogus) and windmills (faux) and buffets designed to fill up busloads of tourists on a budget. . . . At the same time, Weaver has taken seriously his mission to rediscover the foods of his ancestors, interviewing hundreds of people over 30 years."—NPR's The Salt

"Weaver's book, written in a straightforward, journalistic style, is an important addition to the work surrounding food studies. He incorporates primary documents, including a compilation of important recipes; literature; personal interviews; and historical cookbooks, to report the history and development of the cuisine. This pioneering research lays the groundwork both for further exploration of Pennsylvania Dutch cookery as well as the identification and study of other regional diets that, as a whole, form an American cuisine."—Journal of American Culture

When visitors travel to Pennsylvania Dutch Country, they are encouraged to consume the local culture by way of "regional specialties" such as cream-filled whoopie pies and deep-fried fritters of every variety. Yet many of the dishes and confections visitors have come to expect from the region did not emerge from Pennsylvania Dutch culture but from expectations fabricated by local-color novels or the tourist industry. At the same time, other less celebrated (and rather more delicious) dishes, such as sauerkraut and stuffed pork stomach, have been enjoyed in Pennsylvania Dutch homes across various localities and economic strata for decades.

Celebrated food historian and cookbook writer William Woys Weaver delves deeply into the history of Pennsylvania Dutch cuisine to sort fact from fiction in the foodlore of this culture. Through interviews with contemporary Pennsylvania Dutch cooks and extensive research into cookbooks and archives, As American as Shoofly Pie offers a comprehensive and counterintuitive cultural history of Pennsylvania Dutch cuisine, its roots and regional characteristics, its communities and class divisions, and, above all, its evolution into a uniquely American style of cookery. Weaver traces the origins of Pennsylvania Dutch cuisine as far back as the first German settlements in America and follows them forward as New Dutch Cuisine continues to evolve and respond to contemporary food concerns. His detailed and affectionate chapters present a rich and diverse portrait of a living culinary practice—widely varied among different religious sects and localized communities, rich and poor, rural and urban—that complicates common notions of authenticity.

Because there's no better way to understand food culture than to practice it, As American as Shoofly Pie's cultural history is accompanied by dozens of recipes, drawn from exacting research, kitchen-tested, and adapted to modern cooking conventions. From soup to Schnitz, these dishes lay the table with a multitude of regional tastes and stories.

Hockt eich hie mit uns, un esst eich satt—Sit down with us and eat yourselves full!

William Woys Weaver is an independent food historian and author of numerous books, including Culinary Ephemera: An Illustrated History and Sauerkraut Yankees: Pennsylvania Dutch Food & Foodways. He also directs the Keystone Center for the Study of Regional Foods and Food Tourism and maintains the Roughwood Seed Collection for heirloom food plants.

View your shopping cart | Browse Penn Press titles in Books of Regional Interest | Join our mailing list

Penn Press | Site Use and Privacy Policy
Report Accessibility Issues and Get Help | University of Pennsylvania
Copyright © 2021 University of Pennsylvania Press | All rights reserved