In Which Mrs. M Succumbs to the Natives

I have lived in this very Amish county for 6 years now (wow-- how did that happen?! By far the longest I've lived anywhere...), but I've been very unsure about some of the local food. Potpie with no crust, shoofly pie (both the "wet" and "dry" varieties), and a bizarre compulsion to season only with salt and ketchup have all left me a little reluctant. Which is why I had never tasted a whoopie pie. (Also, I don't have much of a sweet tooth, and am by nature a pretty healthy eater.)

So this morning, when a coworker's birthday treat was Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Cream Cheese Frosting, I was uncertain. I thought I'd try it, because I believe in trying things before deciding on them. But I was bracing myself. The middle is gooey! They look like something Hostess would sell!

But they are magnificent. A little zing in the cinnamon. That wonderful trace of tartness in the cream cheese frosting. This is some tasty stuff, people.

But I draw the line at scrapple.


  1. Scrapple sounds a bit like haggis. That tastes better than it sounds and I did have a very good vegetarian version in Edinburgh. Great to learn some new culinary terms. Thanks

  2. Anonymous12:31 PM

    I used to live in Amishland, too, and only discovered the "REAL" whoopie pies at the end. (I always thought of the ones made by little debbie or some such thing) but real whoopie pies are really, really good.

  3. Ahh, scrapple.

    I grew up thinking scrapple was dog food. No, literally: the dog had epilepsy, and we'd give him his pills every day in a chunk of uncooked scrapple. I thought it was only kept with the people food because it had to be kept cold.

    I think I was sixteen or so when I found out that _people_ ate it. Euw!

    Much later I actually began to meet the people who ate it. Dear friends of mine -- folks from coal country, PA mostly. They'd offer me some, I'd explain that it was dog food, we'd all have a good laugh.

    Derek and I were in line for breakfast at an SCA event -- scrambled eggs (real ones), sauteed onions and peppers, breakfast potatoes, sausage, all kinds of goodness. My style is to fill a plate with all of the above and mix it up good. Derek scooped some sausage -- loose stuff, a little dark, onto his plate, and offered me a ladleful.

    You see where this is going. I'd finished half of breakfast and had the fork in my mouth when he asked me how the scrapple was.

    ...tastes like sausage.

    I didn't kill him...but I thought about it real hard.

  4. try smothering the scrapple in maple syrup... OK it can be seen as a waste of syrup or to those lovers of scrapple as a sin.

    Go to Shady Maple which is close to Blue Ball and you will be be immersed in the local cuisine.


"So keep fightin' for freedom and justice, beloveds, but don't you forget to have fun doin' it. Lord, let your laughter ring forth. Be outrageous, ridicule the fraidy-cats, rejoice in all the oddities that freedom can produce. And when you get through kickin' ass and celebratin' the sheer joy of a good fight, be sure to tell those who come after how much fun it was."
-Saint Molly Ivins