Monday, January 24, 2011


Long ago, when I was young and nubile, I lived in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.  A regular portion of the little bit of money I had was frequently spent at one of the town's wonderful farmers' markets.

My favorite Pennsylvania Dutch treat found at these markets was whoopie pies.  These "pies" consist of a decadent, creamy filling sandwiched between two fat, soft cookies.  According to legend, the name comes from a typically joyous response expressed by one who discovers this delicious Amish treat in their lunch box—"WHOOPIE!"
Last Saturday, although now less young and nubile, I once again found myself visiting Lancaster's Central Market.  It holds the title of the "oldest continuously operating farmer's market in the country."
Farm-fresh dairy products, meats, and fruits are offered in abundance here.
Could that be the "Goats' Hall of Fame?"
And, of course, there are the whoopie pies.  Well, did I buy one, two, or three?
 I need to get into my skinny jeans by summer when I embark on my daring (for me) trip down the Oregon Trail.  Whoopie pies aren't an option right now. (More on the Oregon Trail story in a much later blog.) Anyway, I did a little investigating on Central Market's website to see what healthy, yet exotic offerings were to be had at this palace of the whoopie pie.

This is what I ended up with.
I know it's hard to believe that I got excited about celery and horseradish.  But I did.  The CocoPops were impulsively purchased as I made my virtuous way out of the market.

Why I bought SweetHearts Celery of Lancaster County—  
They "use a special Pennsylvania Dutch blanching technique to ripen celery to maximum flavor."
It's quite simply the best celery I've ever eaten.
Many thanks to "Phil, the celery man."
Why I bought Long's Horseradish— 
The horseradish plant with its 3,000-year-old history intrigues me.  It certainly clears your sinuses, and adds a major kick to any food, healthy or otherwise.  When I read that Long's has been in business since 1901 and that their Central Market horseradish is guaranteed to have been grated within 48 hours of purchase, I had to buy some. 
 I was disappointed to find Long's booth empty (on Saturdays).  But was gratified that I could purchase some of the hot stuff at S. Clyde Weaver, located down the aisle from Long's.

And, finally . . . why, oh why, the CocoPops?
First, there was the sign.
Then, there was the drama.
the CocoPop machine
The pressure rises and POP!  A newborn, fragrant crisp arrives.  Don't ask me how.
They taste good.  And, who can resist their healthy stats?
Well, there you have it.  Later, back at my Lancaster hotel room, did I regret passing up those whoopie pies?
One can always compensate . . .


  1. We have Coco-pops at Wegman's. I find the machine very annoying. But I should try them. Honestly, though, celery will NEVER outclass a whoopie pie, no matter how it's grown!

  2. I know what you mean, Candice. Alas, the things we do for skinny jeans.