~ PA Deutsch (Dutch) Sweet & Sour Salad Dressing~
If you live in or around a region in Pennsylvania (and other surrounding states too) influenced by a Pennsylvania Deutsch community, you know all about this drizzly, creamy-yellow, sweet and sour, onion-and-celery-laced oil-based salad dressing. So as to avoid any confusion, it is different from Amish sweet & sour salad dressing, which is a thicker, similarly-flavored mayonnaise- or salad-dressing-based concoction (Miracle Whip is referred to as "salad dressing" in Amish country). How do I know this stuff? I've lived my entire life in Pennsylvania (I grew up near Pennsylvania Deutsch country and currently live near Amish country).
You say Pennsylvania Dutch, We say Pennsylvania Deutsch:
Let me make it clear that Pennsylvania Dutch cookery does not belong solely to PA and it is not Dutch either. The term "Dutch" was the early English settlers slang for the German word "Deutsch". So: When most people incorrectly say "Pennsylvania Dutch", they should be saying "Pennsylvania Deutsch", crediting the Germanic or German-speaking immigrants from Germany and Switzerland for this cuisine. The majority of these people were either Amish, Mennonite or Brethren, all of which were considered "Anabaptist". They were fleeing the mountains of Switzerland and southern Germany to avoid religious persecution and established several communites in the Lehigh Valley. Why? Thank William Penn for his free-thinking, open-door, equal-opportunity-for-all of any religion or race politics. Pennsylvania set an example for the other colonies, who all had established an official "State" religion. Pennsylvania. The first to welcome people of all beliefs and walks of life? You betcha.
One of my favorite KE readers, a gal named Penny from California, reminisced to me in an e-mail about "a sweet and sour salad dressing" she ate here in PA and asked me if I had a recipe because: she "couldn't find one anywhere." Say what?
After some cookbook and internet searching, I must say, considering how popular this dressing is in parts of PA, I was surprised by what I couldn't find: a published recipe. I have no idea why, but it seems this is one of those "lost recipes" that needs to get some press. Having a recipe in my archives, given to me back in 1973 or '74 by a PA Deutsch family member, Nana, I'm happy to be able to share it.
In the greater Lehigh Valley Area of Pennsylvania, Wos-Wit is hands-down the favorite store brand for all sorts of Pennsylvania Dutch products -- preserves, sauces, dressings, pickles and pickled products, you name it, they make it and they've got it. Their sweet and sour salad dressing is as close as you're ever going to get to homemade, so, if buying it is what you want to do, theirs is the only one I will recommend to you. I am not here to steal their thunder. To repeat, I just happen to have an authentic recipe of the type I am sure they based theirs on. It's super easy to make too -- 7 or 8 on-hand ingredients, no chopping slicing or dicing, and 5 minutes of your time.
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon celery seed
2 teaspoons dry English mustard
1 teaspoon dried onion flakes
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup white vinegar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 drop yellow food coloring, for a touch of pretty color (optional)
~Step 1. Place dry ingredients in a medium bowl and stir together. Add the white vinegar (and the optional drop of food coloring) and whisk until sugar is dissolved. Allow to rest 5 minutes, to give the onion flakes time to soften a bit.
~ Step 2. Transfer mixture to work bowl of food processor fitted with steel blade. With the motor running, in a slow, thin, steady stream, add the vegetable oil through the feed tube and continue to process until emulsified, about 10-15 seconds.
Toss w/a salad of: greens-of-choice, crisp bacon, hard-cooked egg, cucumber, tomato & onion (& chicken or turkey too):
Special Equipment List: whisk; 1-cup measuring container; food processor or blender; 2-cup measuring container or bottle w/tight-fitting lid
~ This Woman's Way to Roast the Perfect Chicken + My Stressfree "Carving for Dummies" Methodology ~, can be found in Categories 2, 3, 15, 19 or 20.
"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti
(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2016)