Only in York County

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Market day

This morning, our whole family took a trip to the Market & Penn Farmers Market in York to get some good Ilyes ground beef for a manicotti-making project this Sunday.

I grew up at this market – my mom and dad were standholders there, first with a baked-goods stand called Mom’s Kitchen, then with a Fitzkee’s candy stand, Joan’s Candy Corner.

It’s changed a lot since then (we were there from 1986 until about 1998) but we still like to go back to visit our favorite food vendors – the Market House Deli, run by our friend Linda Humphreys, the Ilyes’ meat stand, and June Keeney’s produce stand.

Since I was there, I decided to scope out some super-local food favorites that I’ve never seen for sale outside a market or butcher shop.

First, there’s the ponhaus and pudding, both mixtures of meat and cornmeal with slightly different textures and seasonings, which were for sale at the Ilyes’ meat stand. Ponhaus/panhaus in this context is very similar to scrapple; in fact, some recipes use the terms interchangeably.

One new commenter, Ann, remarked a week or so ago that her family had just finished eating something called pontas or ponhaus. She said hers is different from the way I had originally described ponhaus because hers is not savory, but sweet – a breakfast dish.

“Originally made by my German great grandmother. Pork neck bone meat, cornmeal, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and cloves. Put in loaf pan, cool, then slice, fry and eat w/ syrup. The Panhas name looks close but this is not savory, was served as a breakfast dish. Our family origniated in Germany, settling in central Indiana in the 1830s,” she writes.

I think it’s really the same thing – ponhaus – just cooked different ways. In fact, that recipe I have above does call for savory, but also includes the cinnamon and nutmeg. If you’re curious, here’s my previous post on scrapple/ponhaus.

And, ah yes, then there’s the souse, for sale at the Market House Deli. Head cheese, you might call it. (Though Wikipedia very nicely mentions that us Pa. Dutch call it souse.) I can tell you honestly that I have not eaten this. It’s basically pig tongue, feet or heart, served in aspic (a gelatinous, edible material) and seasoned with lots of things, like onion, salt, pepper and vinegar.

We’ve had lots of debate about ponhaus, but would anyone care to enlighten me about the wonders of pudding (and why it’s at all different from ponhaus) or souse?

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