HARRISBURG — (WJET/WFXP/YourErie.com) – If you’re a foodie, Pennsylvania is offering some new food tours for you to try.
On Wednesday, First Lady Frances Wolf and Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Deputy Secretary for Marketing, Tourism & Film Carrie Fischer Lepore launched four new culinary trails in the Commonwealth: Picked: An Apple Trail; Baked: A Bread Trail; Chopped: A Charcuterie Trail; and Pickled: A Fermented Trail.
“In Pennsylvania, food is not just a meal – it is an important piece of our history, culture and legacy,” said Deputy Secretary Fischer Lepore. “These culinary trails allow travelers to more fully immerse themselves into what it means to be a Pennsylvanian, through our food legacy and traditions. And the culinary trails will introduce longtime Pennsylvanians to new restaurants, artisanal shops, and other venues, helping to boost the many small businesses that form the fabric of the Commonwealth’s food legacy.”
The culinary trails feature local farms, artisans and other food businesses from every county and corner of Pennsylvania. The goal is to provide travelers with an immersive, multisensory understanding of the Commonwealth’s bountiful food culture.
“Storytelling is one of the most powerful tools we have to share what life was like during any period of time, and what we eat, how we eat it, and why we eat it is a key piece to the stories we pass through generations,” said First Lady Wolf. “Pennsylvania’s past and present are hugely characterized by the foods that have been blended into the histories of our communities, and each of the culinary trails are the perfect way to showcase how every plate continues to shape our Commonwealth.”
Since 2018, the DCED has collaborated with Chatham University’s Center for Regional Agriculture, Food, and Transformation (CRAFT) to develop culinary trails that accurately represent the rich culture and history of the state, including the distinctive dishes popularized by immigrants who built the local communities.
Each trail has four to five “clusters,” separated by region, to be completed over a two-to-four-day road trip. The diverse offerings include local bakeries, restaurants, wineries, cideries and other food shops and restaurants. The trail will also feature historically significant locations to give travelers a sense of the history of different crops, recipes, and food preparation techniques.
The Four New Culinary Trails
Picked: An Apple Trail
Pennsylvania is ranked fourth in the United States for apple growing, producing between 400 to 500 million pounds of apples per year. Picked: An Apple Trail offers a sampling of traditional farms, cideries, bakeries, and other locations like apple pie pottery and ceramic makers.
Baked: A Bread Trail
From pretzels and shoefly pie to haluski and hops, grains like corn and wheat have played a central role in Pennsylvania’s history, economy and culture. Baked: A Bread Trail honors the grain-growing regions of Pennsylvania with baked items, crafts, mills, bakeries, breweries and restaurants.
Chopped: A Charcuterie Trail
Derived from the French phrase meaning “cooker of meat,” curing meats is a practice dating back to the early 19th century in the Commonwealth as migrants from Eastern European countries settled in rural areas and built smokehouses in their backyards. Chopped: A Charcuterie Trail takes visitors on an exploration of cured meats and accompaniments, ranging from backyard smoked sausage to select, hand-carved boards with curing methods and recipes that have been passed down for generations.
Pickled: A Fermented Trail
From common menu items like pickled vegetables, sauerkraut, and beer to delicacies like red beet eggs, root beer, kefir and kombucha, Pennsylvanians love fermented foods. Pickled: A Fermented Trail includes stops at farms and creameries, vineyards and markets and even historically significant houses and hotels for fermented goods.
The four new culinary trails add to the two existing trails that were developed by the Pennsylvania Tourism Office: Scooped: An Ice Cream Trail and Tapped: A Maple Trail. For more information and a full itinerary of all Culinary Trails, click HERE.