Posted by: lisetta | August 13, 2010

Rural PA Italian

Blaine took me out for hiking in the countryside again this afternoon, and found it funny that I entered the Sheetz convenience store as an ethnographer, marvelling at foodstuffs I haven’t seen before. The orange creamsicle whoopie pie, so bright and round, its plastic sheen reflecting the fluorescents like nothing else in view. I didn’t photograph it. I did, however, capture the snakes:

Life-sized gummy snakes? Fascinating.

More interesting to an Italophile foodie, however, was this:

Americanized "ciabatta"

I wrote about ciabatta a few years ago, but have been noticing the ciabatta roll everywhere lately! Seems it’s been fully Americanized, complete with cheese on top. I’m really not sure why Sheetz calls this sandwich the Crobatta, though. I mean, how did the /r/ sneak into the spelling? Does it sound better? Seem more familiar to an audience that might recognize “chabatta”? I wonder if the bread is merely shaped like a ciabatta, or if it really has the texture of one? Seems they’ve appropriated the Cobb concept as well: doesn’t look like this version has any avocado, its the tastiest ingredient. [Italian readers: Cobb salad includes bacon, chicken, boiled egg, chopped lettuce, roquefort, tomato and chives.]

In any case, I fully advocate the appropriation of Italian foods! I was surprised to find this artifact of Italian food culture in Berks County, PA, otherwise known for Pennsylania Dutch cooking, which I know very little about.  Sheetz had healthy options; we grabbed Cliff bars before trekking the Appalachian Trail near Hamburg. Here’s a slideshow with some photos of the day:

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