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Regional Treats/Snacks

tarie Jan 10, 2009 10:02 AM

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?


  1. c
    cwdonald Jul 10, 2013 12:28 PM

    For local chocolate I would suggest Goldenberg Peanut Chews...

    Levi's black cherry soda if you want to throw in a non alcoholic beverage.

    If you are overnighting the package.. real philadelphia soft pretzels.

    1. l
      Ltolbert Jul 7, 2013 03:13 PM

      Those cheesy poofs tinged with honey!

      1. m
        mistyday56 Mar 7, 2012 06:12 PM

        I thought this was interesting. If you google Pennsylvania snacks, one of the links that comes up is to a book about Pa snacks. Yep you got it, snacks made in Pa. And the book description has the following line..
        "Pennsylvania is the nation's snackfood capital. The Keystone State ranks number one in production of pretzels and potato chips and is famous for its chocolate, Lebanon bologna, and other snack foods."
        Ahhhh yes! That is why we love our state so much!!! lol

        3 Replies
        1. re: mistyday56
          FriedClamFanatic Mar 8, 2012 07:36 PM

          In Giants today, I found something called Oh Ryan's Irish Potatoes....basically a confection of cocnut wrapped in cinnamon.very tasty. $4.99 for 15 each about the size of a large marble (7oz)

          In 20 yrs of living in Pa (plus 2 back in the 70's) I had never heard of them. I'm sending them to my Siblings for St Pat's day even tho we aren't Irish. Obviously local (made in Philly) and very seasonal

          1. re: FriedClamFanatic
            bluehensfan Mar 9, 2012 08:09 AM

            They have the same things (probably better tasting even) at Termini's for St. Patrick's Day.

            1. re: FriedClamFanatic
              mookleknuck Jul 9, 2013 12:07 PM

              I've gotten them at the bakery in Ambler in the spring. If I remember correctly, they were 30 for $6, and that was because she wanted to sell all of them since they would be closed the next day. I don't believe she normally makes them after Easter.

              In addition to the Philadelphia area, I've seen them in the Allentown area at different candy stores and places between Harrisburg and Pittsburgh.

          2. x
            xtian Jan 14, 2009 07:28 AM

            I second the idea of betty's tasty buttons-- and would add Jubilee chocolates to the mix. How about a nice bottle of Blue Coat gin to boot? (The airport bottles are easy to ship and easy to find.)
            Chow-chow, apple butter, etc. are great PA items (not necessarily Philly).
            Finally, the one thing I always have to bring when we visit some out-of-towners is Marciano's breads and/or tomato pie. They ship too, via their web site.

            1 Reply
            1. re: xtian
              doxiemom Jan 14, 2009 01:10 PM

              I am surprised no one has jumped on Peanut Chews (unless I missed it)?

              And I LOVE the idea of a potato chip box - but you defintely have to include Grandma Utz in there.

            2. m
              missfunkysoul Jan 14, 2009 07:02 AM

              my husband introduced me to these things made in pottsville, pa called club sandwiches - have you heard of them?


              they're incredibly simple but oh so good - peanutbutter sandwiched in between saltines, and covered in chocolate! cheap, too. not sure where you can find them locally, but you can order online...

              1. b
                Bob Loblaw Jan 13, 2009 04:08 PM

                In 2002 I was in school at Berkeley, and the on-campus store - smaller than a wa-wa - had tastykakes. so i don't know you need to include that.

                otoh, anything that says 'wawa' is always fun.

                1. f
                  FriedClamFanatic Jan 12, 2009 03:14 PM

                  for something different.......chow chow

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: FriedClamFanatic
                    cwdonald Jul 10, 2013 12:26 PM

                    Or.. Pepper hash (very similar .. ).

                  2. bluehensfan Jan 12, 2009 03:06 PM


                    1. CindyJ Jan 12, 2009 02:22 PM

                      From Pennsylvania Dutch Country: Shoo fly pie and whoopie pies.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: CindyJ
                        crazyspice Jan 12, 2009 02:32 PM

                        I grew up in Maine and we had Whoopie pies there too.

                      2. b
                        Bigley9 Jan 12, 2009 09:23 AM

                        Check out the PA general store in the reading terminal market or on line for a one stop shop for many of the items listed above and more! They'll even ship Bassetts Ice Cream! http://www.pageneralstore.com/

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Bigley9
                          DaisyM Jan 12, 2009 01:44 PM

                          What about chocolate covered pretzels?

                        2. b
                          Bride of the Juggler Jan 12, 2009 04:37 AM

                          Betty's Buttons Fudge, or any of the locally made candies that they sell at Capogiro, like the great caramels, the marshmellows, or the Capogiro candied fruit peels (which make a great topping for cocktails). Also Amish whoopie pies, but you'd have to send those overnight. Thank you.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Bride of the Juggler
                            Chefmonty Jan 12, 2009 07:14 AM

                            # 1 has to be TastkKakes. When I was overseas i the military, my freinds all use to wait for my monthly package from home to share in my tastykakes. Also, I would send some Birchbeer of Cream soda and lastly Goldberg Peanut Chews

                          2. b
                            bakersma Jan 11, 2009 05:25 PM

                            Herlocher's Dipping Mustard...... http://www.herlocherfoods.com/

                            Taylor Pork Roll..... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pork_roll

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: bakersma
                              Gorp512 Jan 11, 2009 07:01 PM

                              Thank you for the Pork Roll reference. Its the greatest Philly food ever. And I second the Hanks Black Cherry. Best soda around.

                              1. re: Gorp512
                                jzerocsk Jan 13, 2009 06:30 AM

                                I say it's close enough (and tasy enough) for this project but Pork Roll is Jersey food!

                                1. re: jzerocsk
                                  bakersma Jan 13, 2009 03:57 PM

                                  Jzerocsk, I thought the same thing at first too but then I checked Wikipedia which said "Hatfield Quality Meats of Hatfield, PA and Alderfer Premium Meats of Harleysville, PA also produce their own versions."

                                  So I figured "Close enough !" :-) :-) :-)

                            2. w
                              wandasue Jan 11, 2009 02:34 PM

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

                              1. c
                                centralpadiner Jan 11, 2009 02:07 PM

                                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. n
                                  nevets Jan 10, 2009 11:42 AM

                                  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
                                    Chowrin Jul 8, 2013 09:42 AM

                                    hell, get some REAL hard pretzels.

                                  2. n
                                    nemo Jan 10, 2009 11:03 AM

                                    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
                                      Bacchus101 Jul 8, 2013 02:41 PM

                                      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
                                        cwdonald Jul 10, 2013 12:25 PM

                                        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
                                          Bacchus101 Jul 11, 2013 08:35 AM

                                          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
                                            Chowrin Jul 11, 2013 09:03 AM

                                            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
                                              Bacchus101 Jul 11, 2013 09:46 AM

                                              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 .......to 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. g
                                      givemecarbs Jan 10, 2009 10:38 AM

                                      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?

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