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~ PA Deutsch (Dutch) Sweet & Sour Salad Dressing~

IMG_2701If 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:

6a0120a8551282970b01a3fcafef88970bLet 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.

IMG_2713Got salad?  The PA Deutsch have a to-die-for dressing for you!

IMG_2672One 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.

IMG_2695In 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.

IMG_2698To make about 1 3/4 cups of Nana's sweet & sour dressing (a little more than a standard 12-ounce bottle of store-bought dressing):

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) 

IMG_2677 IMG_2680 IMG_2681 IMG_2685 IMG_2691~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):

IMG_2705PA Deutsch (Dutch) Sweet & Sour Salad Dressing:  Recipe yields 1 3/4 cups dressing.

Special Equipment List:  whisk; 1-cup measuring container; food processor or blender; 2-cup measuring container or bottle w/tight-fitting lid

IMG_8322Cook's Note: Nana often served this salad for lunch when she had leftover chicken.  She also made it with turkey left from Thanksgiving.  

~ 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) 


Deborah -- You made my day! Merry Christmas to you and yours!!!

This recipe is fabulous!! I used to use Old Dutch brand for a Wild Rice, Broccoli, and Cranberry salad. I haven’t been able to find it for years now so I just quit making the salad. This year, I really wanted to bring the salad to a Christmas potluck so I searched Pinterest and found your (Nana’s) dressing recipe! It is a game changer!

Anything I can do for you in regards to recipes Penny, I will. I enjoy your friendship and your e-mails! ~ Mel.

Thanks so much Mel !!! Looks and sounds great !I can't wait to try it and I appreciate your efforts on my (our) behalf !
Penny from California

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