HARRISBURG—Pennsylvania has a rich food heritage and a series of culinary trails will highlight the best the state has to offer.
The four culinary trails—Picked: An Apple Trail; Baked: A Bread Trail; Chopped: A Charcuterie Trail; and Pickled: A Fermented Trail—feature local farms, artisans and other food businesses from every county and corner of Pennsylvania, providing travelers with an immersive, multisensory understanding of the commonwealth’s bountiful food culture.
The 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.
“In Pennsylvania, food is not just a meal – it is an important piece of our history, culture and legacy,” said Carrie Fischer Lepore, deputy secretary for Pennsylvania DCED’s Marketing, Tourism & Film. “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.”
Since 2018, the DCED been collaborating with Chatham University’s Center for Regional Agriculture, Food, and Transformation to conduct thoughtful research to develop culinary trails that accurately represent the rich culture and history of the state, including the distinctive dishes popularized by immigrants who built communities in Pennsylvania.
Each trail has four to five “clusters” separated by region to be completed over a two-to-four-day road trip, with a diverse offering of local bakeries, restaurants, wineries, cideries and other food shops and restaurants, as well as historically significant locations such as museums to give travelers a sense of the history of different crops, recipes, and food preparation techniques.
“We saw this collaboration as a unique opportunity to utilize culinary tourism to bolster our regional food system,” said CRAFT Program Manager Cynthia Caul. “The hope is to support local farms and food business and connect people to the people growing and making food in this region today and historically.”
The four new culinary trails are in addition to two existing trails that were developed by the Pennsylvania Tourism Office to highlight Pennsylvania’s robust agriculture and food offerings: Scooped: An Ice Cream Trail and Tapped: A Maple Trail. For more information and a full itinerary of all Culinary Trails, go to visitpa.com/trip/culinary-trails and follow #PACulinaryTrails, #PickedInPA, #BakedInPA, #PickledInPA, and #ChoppedInPA.