Delicious Pennsylvania Dutch Fish and Seafood Recipes
Philadelphia is the only Pennsylvania city having
direct traffic with the sea, so that leaves the Pennsylvania
Dutch pretty much dependent upon Philadelphia for ideas about
seafood. Indeed, in the old days they were dependent upon
Philadelphia if they got any at all.
The German's like fish but do nothing particularly unusual in
fish cookery. They are extremely fond of lobster and crab as
well as oysters and clams, but rather more inclined to eat
seafood in restaurants than to prepare it at home.
My own most vivid impression of Pennsylvania seafood cookery
is the memory of my grandfather occupied the kitchen to show
them how to fry oysters as they should be fried. Grandpa Baker
showed everyone the method he had learned in a Philadelphia club
while attending medical school.
He claimed that he had paid the chef five dollars (no mean sum
in those days) to teach him how. So-for the rest of his life-he
taught all his family how to fry oysters whenever he did it
himself! It became rather wearying and the family would have
evaded his dinner invitations gladly if the oysters had not been
The hubbub in the kitchen, while he held forth was terrific,
and everyone who could fled the spot. But how they gulped down
those oysters! I can hear my grandfather shouting as though it
were yesterday, his opinion of "the damn fools who wipe dry an
oyster and ruin it! It takes away the natural goodness. "
Dip them dripping, do you hear me? Dripping! That's the way
they fry oysters in Philadelphia. It is not recorded that
he had any other culinary skills.