The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a melting pot of different nationalities and a mashup of various cuisines. Noted as the snack food capital of the world, Pennsylvania is hardly lacking in a wide array of different snacks and eats.
The Philadelphia cheesesteak sandwich is, without a doubt, the most famous food to come out of the state. This hoagie roll overloaded with sliced steak and melted cheese was indeed invented in the city of Philadelphia. Pat Olivieri, a hot dog merchant, is credited with inventing the sandwich. The popularity of the sandwich spread throughout the city and beyond. The notoriety of the delicacy increased further with Kraft's invention of Cheez Whiz in 1953.
The U.S. chocolate industry is said to be centrally located in Pennsylvania. Now located in Derry Township, Hershey's Chocolate first began producing chocolate in 1894. The Wilbur Chocolate Company in Lititz was founded in 1865; while it first produced mostly molasses candies and hard candies, the company decided to focus solely on cocoa and chocolate in 1884. Godiva and Mars also have factories within the state.
The Pennsylvania Dutch, a group of Germanic people who began emigrating to the United States in the 17th century, settled primarily in the region that would later become known as Pennsylvania. They brought with them a number of recipes for German-style foods. Popular dishes include: bott boi, the Pennsylvania Dutch version of pot pie; chow-chow, a pickled relish; and fasnacht, a deep-fried pastry similar to a doughnut.
The Pennsylvania Dutch were responsible for bringing the pretzel to the United States. The original pretzel was the larger, doughier form popular in mall food courts across the country. The smaller, crispier version of the pretzel was created in Pennsylvania during the second half of the 17th century. The first pretzel-twisting machine was invented in the state. Pretzel manufacturers in Pennsylvania include the Sturgis Pretzel House, the Reading Pretzel Machinery Company and Snyder's of Hanover.
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