Pennsylvania Dutch Country: A Guide to Finding Good Cheese
It’s no secret that Pennsylvania is considered to have one of the most diversified agricultural economies in the nation. The state ranks first in mushroom production, with sweet corn, potatoes, tomatoes, beans and cabbage also making large contributions to the economy, along with a variety of fruits and field crops.
But even with this abundance of produce, almost 70 percent of Pennsylvania’s agricultural income is generated by livestock and livestock products, with milk making up the lion’s share of the market. And when people want to purchase any of the state’s high-quality fresh, organic, chemical-free agricultural products, be it milk or meat or vegetables, one destination comes to mind: Lancaster County in Pennsylvania Dutch Country, the breadbasket of Pennsylvania.
City-dwellers from New York City to Washington, D.C., and all stops in between flock to the area’s farmers’ markets to purchase grass-fed raised meat and poultry; organic vegetables; homemade breads, canned goods and desserts; and, of course, artisan cheeses.
The following is just a small selection of where you can find hand made Amish cheeses, thanks to Farm Fromage, a company that links the cheesemakers of the Pennsylvania Dutch community to the outside world.
Lancaster Central Market
23 North Market Street, Lancaster PA 717-735-6890
Lemon Street Market
241 West Lemon Street, Lancaster, PA 717-826-0843
Fair Food Farmstand
Reading Terminal Market, 12th & Arch Streets, Philadelphia, PA 215-386-5211 ext. 120
Misty Creek Goat Dairy
A small stand on Amos Miller’s goat farm. Cash only, and payment is on the honor system.
43 West Eby Road, Leola, PA 717-656-4628
Kimberton Whole Foods
A local marketplace for organic farmers, with stores in Kimberton, Douglassville, Downingtown and Ottsville.
Written by Rebecca L. Rhoades. For more writing from Rhoades on Pennsylvania Dutch Country and Amish cheese, see culture's Fall 2012 issue.