With several tasty trails to choose from, it'll be hard to pick just one.
Don’t bother packing a cooler for a road trip in and around Pennsylvania. There are several Culinary Trails in Pennsylvania designed to satisfy the appetites of both foodies and explorers, from the tastiest bites to the smoothest sips. Organized by region, these one-day or multi-day road trips feature bakeries, grist mills, orchards, cideries, dairy farms and smokehouses, not to mention historically significant houses, inns, galleries and museums. You’re in for a treat!
Pennsylvania ranks No. 4 in the nation for apple growing, producing between 400 million and 500 million pounds of apples each year. With four regions as options, the Apple Trail features traditional farms, bakeries, cideries and locations like Apple Pie Pottery. The itineraries offer opportunities to sample preserves, apple pie filling, apple snitz and apple cheddar cheese as well as activities such as apple picking at a variety of orchards.
In the Laurel Highlands region, 90 maple farms and more than 120,000 taps produce approximately 27,000 gallons of maple syrup annually. Stops along the Maple Trail allow visitors to watch maple syrup boil over wood-fired evaporators; sample spotza, a special maple concoction; taste beer brewed with hints of maple; and snack on maple cotton candy and other treats. A second itinerary travels through the Pennsylvania Wilds, which hosts the annual Maple Weekend.
For craft beer fans, breweries along Pennsylvania’s 13 beer trails pour tastes of some of the best. Tröegs Independent Brewing in Hershey, Brew Gentlemen in Braddock and Yuengling in Pottsville are a few highlights. You are sure to find a new favorite beer – or two.
There’s more to fermented foods than pickles and sauerkraut – though both are delicious. The Fermented Trail features treats like red beet eggs, kombucha and root beer. Fermentation also means flavor in a glass of wine, cider or craft beer. Plus, you can pick up relishes and chow, a mix of fermented vegetables, on any of the five regional itineraries. Stop by a dairy farm for yogurt or a restaurant for a fermented Ecuadorian slaw. Specialty sweet shops on the trail will pleasantly remind you that chocolate is a fermented food, as well.
This classic treat can be found in traditional and innovative flavors along three regional routes of the Ice Cream Trail. Dairy is an important part of Pennsylvania’s heritage, and historic family farms with beautiful landscapes can be found throughout the state. Drop by one of the farms and taste ice cream that’s “cow-to-cone” in flavors such as French toast bacon and banana cream pie. Dairies, markets and cafes along the route also offer ice cream cakes, floats and the coffee-based treat, affogato.
Grains are the central player in Pennsylvania’s history and food culture. In fact, pretzels and shoofly pie – a Pennsylvania Dutch specialty that uses molasses as a key ingredient – are state staples. The Bread Trail honors that history with five regional trails that feature every use of grains, from grist mills to bakeries to breweries. Needless to say, hunger will not be an issue.
Curing meats is a tradition passed down through generations, and the Charcuterie Trail offers five regions to not only enjoy this delicious product and the perfect condiments, but also pick up a hand-carved serving board for your own feasts at home. Kielbasa, knockwurst, salami and soppressata are on the menu at butcher shops, smokehouses, restaurants and retail markets. Other highlights include smoked salmon and wild boar sausages.
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