Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Philadelphia >
Nov 3, 2010 08:07 AM

Penn Dutch vendors at the Reading Terminal Market

I'm looking for THE kitchen hexe for my kitchen and it seems the RTM Penn Dutch vendors are a great resource. Reading about the market, it seems that the market is great, just by itself.
Can anyone confirm that the Penn Dutch vendors aren't there Sun-Tues, and only appear Wed-Sat.?

This is the info from their website, but it's several years old and I have grown to distrust sites that aren't updated (at a minimum) yearly.

Which bakers there should I direct my husband to?


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I'm not sure why you think the RTM website is a few years old? It certainly has updated information on new merchants.
    And, the PA Dutch vendors are still only there Wed-Sat.

    7 Replies
    1. re: urbanfabric

      The RTM website is always updated and I can vouch that thir website was re-vamped with a brand spanking new one with some good looking customers who shop at the Market was just in the past few days.

      Bakers for what? A kitchen hex?

      1. re: bluehensfan

        Thanks for the answer. I wasn't on their site, but on one that covered the market, no where near as well as Urbanfabric's .
        Funny, bluehen, I need a bakery to keep my husband busy while I pick through all the hexe just to get the perfect one. Husband tends to get antsy and needs to be distracted, and pastries are one of his interests.

        1. re: shallots

          Plenty of bakeries to choose from at the market. For cannoli or traditional Italian pastries (I like the nirvana and the almond succes) head to Termini Brothers. If you want a delicious hot sticky bun, go to Beiler's, and there are always the wonderful soft pretzels at Miller's Twists. And if that does not work, there are great double chocolate chip cookies at Fourth Street Cookies. And they have traditional pastries at LeBus and Metropilitan bakeries.

          1. re: bluehensfan

            Yea I wouldn't worry about your husband. The Market is very dense and full of interesting stalls; he'll be able to wander around and occupy himself for quite some time.

            1. re: barryg

              Or if you want to get rid of him, have him try a slice of Pumpple cake:

          2. re: shallots

            Or send him next door to the brew pub.

            I think what you are looking for are PA Dutch hex signs, not hexe -- I've never seen a kitchen witch associated with the PA Dutch. I think most of the PA Dutch (PA German) vendors in RTM are food purveyors, and do not carry things like the hex signs; those would more likely be sold by other vendors in the market. And the PA German (PA Dutch) vendors would never ever be there on Sunday, for religious reasons.

            I see from your other post that you are visiting Philadelphia & want to look for a good luck charm for you kitchen while you are here. I wish you could make a side trip to Lancaster County to find a real hex sign:

        2. Kauffman's Lancaster Produce stand has crafts for sale, in addition to produce. I am pretty sure that they have hex signs hanging up, but I do not know if they are for sale. They are the only PA Dutch Stand in the RTM that sells such crafts.

          7 Replies
          1. re: caga tio

            I think I have seen Hex(e) signs there too

            1. re: bonappetite

              They also sell the signs at the PA General Store in Reading Terminal as well I believe.

              1. re: bluehensfan

                I am looking for a kitchen witch (Hexe auf Deutsch) which is why I hoped that Germans would offer them in kitchen stores. (The signs I could paint myself, but forming a witch's that's an interpretive art.)

                1. re: shallots

                  Okay, first you have to remember that the Amish are 200 years removed from Germany. The Pennsylvania German culture is quite differant from traditional 'german" culture.
                  Second, you will never even find a hex sign on an Amish farm. Hex signs are 'FANCY' and the idea that they offer supernatural protection would be considered blasphemy .
                  The heartland of the hex sign is in the "fancy" Pa German area of Berks county,especially north and northeast of Reading. However, even here you will not find kitchen witch's- but rather decorative signs displayed on the outside of barns.

                  Many Amish who run craft or quilt shops will, today, sell hex signs because the tourists expect it. However,I have never seen a kitchen witch in an Amish run shop. I think you are more likely to find them in a generic "COUNTRY" craft shop- probably with a "made in
                  China" label

                  That said, the Reading Market is well worth a visit on its own merits.

                  1. re: brookquarry

                    EXCELLENT summary, brookquarry! I was getting a little confused by the references to kitchen witches, since there is no way the Amish would have such a thing based on their religious beliefs. There is a PA Dutch tradition of PowWow, which employs casting of spells, but that''s altogether different.

                    Actually, I think the word "hex" when used for these signs is more a reference to the fact that many of the designs have 6 sides. Many of the designs are taken from the old frakturs, which were folk-art embellished certificates in celebration of a major event, like a birth or a marraige. We collect PA German folk art, and I have a few of frakturs. That bird you see in many of the hex signs is called a distelfink, and is a very common motif in these frakturs.

                    If you are looking for a better explanation of the origins of these signs, there is a good description in Wikepedia:

                    I travel to Lancaster County quite a bit and I have found the Amish, even the old order Amish, to be quite commerce savvy. Just because something like the hex signs would not be in one of THEIR homes, that doesn't mean they don't seize to opportunuity to crank them out and sell them in great numbers to tourists. Many of the quilts that you see for sale as "Amish Quilts" in Lancaster County are made by the Amish, but are not designs or fabrics you would see on quilts in their own homes.

                    1. re: PattiCakes

                      Agree with everthing you said. I guess the bottom line is that the poster is unlikely to find an authentic "KITCHEN WITCH" at the RTM but should still visit to sample the Pa Dutch and other culinary delights there.
                      (By the way my great-grandfather was a pow- wow doctor (not Amish though).

                      1. re: brookquarry

                        Thank you all. It looks like a trip to for a witch, as I am really trying to avoid one made in Asia.

                        The lack of ornamentation on barns fits the Amish in my my part of the country, FWIW.

                        I would not have sought out Reading Market without this search, so this has been a good thing, and I thank you for your input. Hopefully it will come up when others search the chow boards for interesting food things that go beyond restaurants.