“As American As Shoofly Pie: The Foodlore and Fakelore of Pennsylvania Dutch Cuisine”

“As American As Shoofly Pie: The Foodlore and Fakelore of Pennsylvania Dutch Cuisine”

Event Update: This event is currently sold out. We encourage those interested in attending to check our ticketing page in the event tickets open up due to cancellations.

On Thursday, December 13, celebrated food historian William Woys Weaver will unmask Pennsylvania Dutch tourist culture while rediscovering the foods of Lancaster County’s ancestors. For event details and how to register, please scroll to the bottom of this event.

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 counter-intuitive 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. He presents 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.

Image on left of Dr. William Woys Weaver as a child. Image on right of Mr. Woys Weaver now.


Dr. 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.


A book signing of Dr. William Woys Weaver’s book, As American As Shoofly Pie, and a reception featuring some recipes from his cookbook will begin at 4pm on Thursday, December 13 at LancasterHistory.org, 230 N. President Ave., Lancaster. The main presentation will begin at 4:30pm in Ryder Hall.

The program is free and open to the public but requires advance registration to guarantee a seat at the presentation. Register online by clicking “Buy Tickets” below or by calling (717) 392-4633. This presentation will not be livestreamed by request of the speaker. Questions and accessibility requests may be directed to info@lancasterhistory.org or (717) 392-4633.


December 13, 2018 Ryder Hall at LancasterHistory.org, 230 N. President Avenue Reception 4pm | Presentation 4:30pm FREE | Registration Required To Guarantee Seat