My sister Melissa is attending graduate school in Philadelphia. I had been craving a weekend down in the city of Brotherly Love for some time now; this was actually well overdue. We finally settled on a weekend and I decided to incorporate this into my USA Food Tour. It would be a weekend full of historical sites, sisterly bonding, and of course enjoyable food.
You will probably assume and almost guarantee that the food of Pennsylvania has to be the Philly Cheesesteak. Well, you’re right. The iconic Philly Cheesesteak is one of the top items on any Pennsylvania food list. However, for those of you who know me, I am not a steak lover. I originally thought I could do a non-traditional “cheesesteak” substituted with chicken or pork but I realized that defeats the purpose of this whole food tour.
I conducted some more research and was beyond ecstatic with my findings. Sticky Buns are in fact one of the most popular treats of this colonial state. Sticky Buns originated in Germany where they were known as Schnecken. These ooey-gooey rolls were brought to the States by the Pennsylvania Dutch and have been around ever since. I am forever in debt to this group of settlers as I really, really love sticky buns.
The next question was where exactly should we try these delightful baked goods. Melissa suggested that we head down to the Reading Terminal Market. This farmers market on steroids has anything and everything someone would want.
Directly in the back in plain view was a true Pennsylvania Dutch bakery stand. In the front case of Beiler’s Bakery, on display in all of its glory, were trays and trays of Sticky Buns. We knew immediately that this was our spot. At first we each grabbed one large bun. Then I spotted a small tray of about six smaller buns that were still warm! We paid for our baked goods and quickly found a table so we could dig in. I’m sure I can speak for Melissa when I say that we savored every single bite. How we did not devour the entire tray is beyond me.
The Sticky Buns were a much better option for my USA Food Tour than Cheesesteaks (sorry Pat’s and Geno’s). As a lover of sweets, I could not think of a better experience. I will be back Beiler’s or any other bakery that will have me.