Harry R. Schwartz

Code writer, sometime Internet enthusiast, attractive nuisance.

The author at the Palais du Luxembourg in Paris, November 2022. hacker news gitlab sourcehut pinboard librarything 1B41 8F2C 23DE DD9C 807E A74F 841B 3DAE 25AE 721B


British Columbia



Pork Cake


Published .
Tags: food.


Pennsylvania Dutch cooking is incredible. Recipes often consist of a permutation of organ meats, butter, lard, and molasses, all either smoked or fried in more butter. Here’s a representative sample recipe:

Pork Cake

  • 1 pound of ground pork
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 1 pound raisins
  • 5½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon each of cloves and nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1¼ teaspoons soda
  • ¼ pound citron
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chopped nuts
  • 1 cup gum drops, chopped

Pour boiling water over pork and allow to stand until almost cool. Add soda to molasses and mix with sugar, combine with pork and blend. Sift flour; measure and add salt, soda and spices. Sift again. Add dry ingredients. Mix well. Fold in chopped fruits, nuts and candy. Pour into large, greased loaf pans. Bake at 275° for 2½ to 3 hours.

— from Mary Emma Showalter’s Mennonite Community Cookbook

This recipe mixes ground pork, raisins, and gum drops. I’ve noticed that almost every ethnic group has some sort of distinctive food that members of the group eat with great gusto and everyone else finds atrocious. Scrapple would probably be the best PA Dutch example, though there are plenty more. Examples in other cultures include nattō in Japan, grasshoppers in parts of Mexico and China, and British food in Britain. What’s up with that, people?

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