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“Living in the Amish Country”

  • 4 posts
  • started 5 months ago by Isaac
  1. My name is Isaac.
    I am a Korean living in Lancaster, PA a small city also known as the Amish Country. I have been living here for about 10 years.
    This place is surprisingly diversed with the original settlers keeping the old German tradition living harmoniously with a huge population of Hispanics, Vietnamese, Cambodian, Thai with small Korean community and many hipsters in the downtown area ;p. Thus the culinary culture here is absolutely lovely with many options to choose along with the fresh local and organic produces thanks to the rich soil and the honest agricultural habits from the Amish and many local/organic advocates living in the area.
    However, it used to be very hard to quench my home sickness and childhood nostalgia. But with the growing popularity of korean food, many Asian grocery stores and event regular supermarkets in this area started to carry lots of Korean ingredients. I often host Korean dinner parties with close friends. And of course, I turn to Maangchi's wonderful video for help.

  2. Isaac, I can relate to what you write. I grew up in Lehigh county, not far from Lancaster. When I was a child, this area was very culturally isolated, with a strong Pennsylvania German heritage. I moved away and was gone for 20 years. When I returned, I found a strong interest in organic farming and good agricultural practices. This area is well grounded in the foundations of food, so it is easy to understand why there is now a growing interest in "ethnic" cuisines. In Berks county, there is a Mennonite family farm which sells more than 250 varieties of chili pepper seedlings! I was just visiting the nursery and describing kimchi to the wife. She knows all about sauerkraut, of course. And they grow so many chili peppers, so kimchi is not so very different from their traditional foods. Maybe they will start to make it for their own consumption. If you want to visit the farm, it's Meadowview Farms in Bowers. Get some chili pepper seedlings to grow your own!

  3. Isaac & Kthaeh, thanks for sharing your interesting stories here!

    I didn't know the Amish and Mennonite communities were so open to new cuisines and that they grew such a variety of ingredients. I would love to visit the area and see it for myself. 250 kinds of chili peppers! It sounds fascinating!

    Isaac, the next time you have a Korean food party, can you please send me some photos of the party and of the food? I'd love to blog about it and share this fascinating story with all of my readers.

  4. Maangchi, I invite you to visit us and I would be happy to take you to Meadowview Farms nursery. Soon I will go there and buy seedlings for our garden. Maybe this year they will have some particular chili peppers from Korea. There are so many to choose from. They also have more than 100 varieties of tomato seedling and about 60 varieties of eggplant. Sometimes when I visit the area I see Mennonite families with horses and buggies. It is a lovely part of Pennsylvania. When I go, I think I will take a little bit of my homemade kimchi, since I told the woman there about it. I think she will like it if she tries it!


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