Traditional Amish food includes dishes like tasty roasted chicken, creamy mashed potatoes & gravy, seasoned vegetables, fresh bread, and homemade jam. The Amish are also known for excellent baked goods, especially pies, cookies, breads, cakes, and fry pies. The Amish culture and lifestyle, along with the resources they had around them over the past 300 years have shaped their food into what it is today.
Food is a large part of Amish culture. Amish families typically eat a large meal together every day. The Amish are very generous and hospitable, so making a large meal for guests is common practice. You’ll be hard-pressed to find an Amish event that doesn’t revolve around food. Reunions, funerals, weddings, and even auctions will have a full meal, or sometimes several on the schedule.
From craftsmanship, to farming, to cooking and baking, the Amish know how to work with their hands. Many have their own gardens and put a lot of their effort into growing fresh foods, including meat for their families. They spend time preserving and canning and teach their children to do the same. Amish girls are taught from a young age how to cook as they help their mothers, sisters, and aunts.
When the Amish settled in America in the early 1700s, they settled in areas where wheat, rye, corn, and barley flourished. These resources worked their way into the diet. Additionally, life on a farm made resources like milk, eggs, garden vegetables, and apples readily available. They practiced preserving their foods and growing their own meat. Their resources shaped their diet, which is why we still see delicious bread, hearty vegetables, creamy potatoes, and large variations of meat in their traditions today. Modern-day Amish will eat “other” foods like lasagna and taco salad, but traditional meals are still made and enjoyed, especially at special occasions like weddings and holidays.
Mrs. Yoder’s Kitchen, in the heart of Amish Country, Ohio, brings these staples to the public by serving traditional Amish foods and sourcing our ingredients locally. If you get a chance to stop by, come hungry!