It's a 'Burgh Thing. We're talking food here, but even saying "It's a 'Burgh thing" is a 'Burgh thing!

If you're from Pittsburgh or the surrounding tri-state area, you will know exactly what I'm talking about when I say we have some unique food traditions.  And if you have visited our area, you have probably been exposed to one or more of them.  But if you haven't, please don't rush to say "Ewww."  You just might like them!

Chipped Ham

If you go to a deli counter or a grocery store around Pittsburgh and ask for ham as a luncheon meat, you will always be asked, "Would you like that sliced, or chipped?"  Chipped ham is a deli ham that is "chipped" by slicing it paper thin with a commercial meat slicer.  It is sliced so thin, in fact, that it is almost transparent.  Believe it or not, chipping the ham makes it more tender and flavorful with a delicate texture. Mmmmm!  It makes my mouth water to think about it.  We serve it fresh on bread, or fry it briefly in a skillet (called frizzled ham), or heat it in a saucepan with barbecue sauce and pile it high on a bun for a ham barbecue.  It's a 'Burgh thing!

The Pittsburgh Sandwich

Speaking of sandwiches, you haven't really lived it up until you've had a sandwich Pittsburgh style--that is, the whole meal--meat, cheese, french fries, coleslaw and tomato--piled sky-high on Italian bread.  Created by the original Primanti Brothers in the 1930's to accommodate truckers, the restaurant has expanded to several locations.  They say this sandwich can be "imitated but not duplicated."  Visitors to Pittsburgh are often overwhelmed by this concoction, but once they tackle it, they love it! It's a 'Burgh thing!

The Pittsburgher Salad

And why stop with the sandwich? It has become a Pittsburgh salad tradition to pile the meat, cheese and french fries  right on top of salads too!  Grilled steak or chicken are cut in strips and placed on top of a bed of salad greens and cut raw vegetables.  Chopped hard-boiled eggs are often added too.  Then the hot french fries are piled on top, sprinkled with shredded cheddar or mozzarella cheese.  It is topped off with a salad dressing of choice. Don't knock it until you've tried it.  It's a 'Burgh thing!

The Pittsburgh Wedding Cookie Table

When you attend a wedding in the Pittsburgh area, you can be sure there will be a cookie table.  Yes, we have wedding cake too, but it has become a Pittsburgh (and Southwestern Pennsylania, Tri-State area) tradition to serve cookies at weddings--the more extravagant, the better.  In fact, people may even judge the success of your wedding reception by the quality, quantity and presentation of your cookie table! Family members and friends of the bride and groom often volunteer to make cookies to contribute to the event.  It's a 'Burgh thing!

 Oh, and by the way, we don't drink soda; we drink "pop."  A term popular in the mid-west, Pittsburghers also call their soft drinks "pop," whereas Pennsylvanians in the eastern part of the state call it "soda."  What do you call it?

Come and visit us in Southwestern Pennsylvania and enjoy some of our unique food traditions.  Or, try replicating them where you live. You'll tell your friends, "It's a 'Burgh thing!"

1 comment:

  1. I'm born/raised/live in Minnesota - thank goodness you call it POP! I can't even try and train myself to say "soda" ;)