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Jan 10, 2009 10:02 AM

Regional Treats/Snacks

I seem to have gotten myself in a snack exchange with someone who lives on the west coast. We've agreed not to spend more than $20 on what goes in the box.

So my question is, what regional treats/snacks that are unique to PA/the east coast would you absolutely, beyond a doubt NEED to introduce some poor West Coast soul to in order to enlighten them about the awesomeness of the East Coast?


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  1. Soft pretzels and tastycakes. Do they have thomas' english muffins out there? Oh and how about krispy kreme donuts or (very local) Yum Yum donuts?

    1. I don't know about awesome, but made in PA would include:

      M&M/Mars (You could get your friend's name imprinted on M&M's, but that would probably put you over the $20 limit.)
      Pepperidge Farm goldfish
      Heinz (maybe they have a new chili sauce that would be good to dip fries. They used to mail you for free the little green pickle pins.)
      Utz potato chips seem to win a lot of awards for Best of...
      And if you consider a cookie a snack, there's the Moravian Spice wafers from Bethlehem, PA. Often called the world's thinnest cookie. Abundant at Christmastime, but maybe available year-round.

      5 Replies
      1. re: nemo

        Godiva is a Belgian company with manufacturing facilities (some contracted) in Pennsylvania. It is not a regional or local treat; it is international.

        1. re: Bacchus101

          Actually ... until 2007 Campbell's Soup owned Godiva, and they were sold to a Turkish conglomerate the Yildiz holding company. Chocolate for the US market is made in Reading PA.

          1. re: cwdonald

            Quite right, cw. Godiva is a producer of Belgian Chocolate with international distribution and now owned by Yildiz with headquarters in NYC. While US production is in Wyomissing, near Reading: I would would not call it a Regional Treat or Snack. I suppose that depends on ones definition of same. Turkish owned Belgian Chocolate with world wide distribution a and HQs in NYC; a local treat?

            1. re: Bacchus101

              Hershey can count as regional as they betatest on Central PA folks (note: if you wondered why their "special dark" is so queer, that's why).
              Also, there's tons of stuff that they dont' distribute everywhere.

              1. re: Chowrin

                As Hershey Chocolate was founded, established and originally produced only in PA: I for one would consider it a regionally based company. However the question posed is to find 'regional treats/snacks that are unique to PA/the east coast introduce some poor West Coast soul to..." Thus Hershey and Godivia would not be an answer to the question due to their availability worldwide. Interesting comment on "special dark" being "so queer". Dark chocolate was the first chocolate confection (3000 years ago) initially as a drink. European companies have produced dark chocolate for hundreds of years. Hershey is most famous for his process for producing Milk Chocolate. A most wonderful Pennsylvania heritage.

      2. Treats from Philly:

        Peanut Butter Kandy Kakes (Tastykakes)
        Goldenberg Peanut Chews (currently sold as chew ets)
        Wilbur Buds
        Frank's Black Cherry Wishniak Soda

        I assume Synder's hard pretzels and the like are available on the West Coast (years ago they were not).

        1 Reply
        1. re: nevets

          hell, get some REAL hard pretzels.

        2. You could actually fill an entire box with different PA brands of potato chips. Utz are actually one of the largest producers, but I would stick to smaller companies such as: Herr's, Good's, Martin's, and Gibble's come to my mind first, but there are many, many others. You could do the same with pretzels, but I don't know where you are, and what you can get. Martin's hard pretzels (red bag, well done) are my favorite. There is also Hammond's, Sturgis .... again, the list could probably go on. Things like Hershey's, M&M, and Godiva are hardly unavailable on the West Coast, even if they do have factories (HQ, in the case of Hershey -obvioulsy) in PA.
          I agree about Tastycake - I didn't realize they are regional until I was about 20. My cousin moved to GA 12 years ago, and his mom still takes him Butterscotch Krimpets with every visit.

          1. Any local hard pretzel - Utz, Snyders, Unique, Martins. Pennsylvania makes a mean pretzel!