Market day

This morning, our whole family took a trip to the Market & Penn Farmers Market in York to get some good Ilyes ground beef for a manicotti-making project this Sunday.

I grew up at this market – my mom and dad were standholders there, first with a baked-goods stand called Mom’s Kitchen, then with a Fitzkee’s candy stand, Joan’s Candy Corner.

It’s changed a lot since then (we were there from 1986 until about 1998) but we still like to go back to visit our favorite food vendors – the Market House Deli, run by our friend Linda Humphreys, the Ilyes’ meat stand, and June Keeney’s produce stand.

Since I was there, I decided to take some pictures of some super-local food favorites that I’ve never seen for sale outside a market or butcher shop.


Here we have the ponhaus and pudding, both mixtures of meat and cornmeal with slightly different textures and seasonings, for sale at the Ilyes’ meat stand. Ponhaus/panhaus in this context is very similar to scrapple; in fact, here’s a recipe for a Pennsylvania Dutch version that uses the terms interchangeably.

One new commenter, Ann, remarked a week or so ago that her family had just finished eating something called pontas or ponhaus. She said hers is different from the way I had originally described ponhaus because hers is not savory, but sweet – a breakfast dish.

“Originally made by my German great grandmother. Pork neck bone meat, cornmeal, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and cloves. Put in loaf pan, cool, then slice, fry and eat w/ syrup. The Panhas name looks close but this is not savory, was served as a breakfast dish. Our family origniated in Germany, settling in central Indiana in the 1830s,” she writes.

I think it’s really the same thing – ponhaus – just cooked different ways. In fact, that recipe I have above does call for savory, but also includes the cinnamon and nutmeg. If you’re curious, here’s my previous post on scrapple/ponhaus.


And, ah yes, the souse, for sale at the Market House Deli. Head cheese, you might call it. (Though Wikipedia very nicely mentions that us Pa. Dutch call it souse.) I can tell you honestly that I have not eaten this. It’s basically pig tongue, feet or heart, served in aspic (a gelatinous, edible material) and seasoned with lots of things, like onion, salt, pepper and vinegar.

We’ve had lots of debate about ponhaus, but would anyone care to enlighten me about the wonders of pudding (and why it’s at all different from ponhaus) or souse?

About Joan

My name is Joan and I'm a lifelong Yorker. Throughout high school and college, I swore I was getting out of here as soon as possible. Now, a few years later, I can't think of anywhere I'd rather be. I love my town, and I hear every day from readers who love their towns, too. So please, connect with me and let's share what makes life in York County great. I'm here to help you enjoy this place as much as I do!
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6 Responses to Market day

  1. Hubby says:

    OK, I believe I was misinformed, just like Rick in “Casablanca.”
    When we were there today, I was told the “ponhaus” was nothing like scrapple, even though, by gosh, it sure looked suspiciously like that yummy breakfast food.
    So now I find that ponhaus and scrapple are essentially the same thing?!? And we bypassed a chance to purchase delicious locally-made scrapple this morning?!?
    Foiled again. Should have just acted on my first instincts and purchased the speckled slab of meat.

  2. Jac says:

    New reader here :) (Hope you don’t mind!)
    Growing up in Nebraska, our choices for meat were really beef and occasionally bacon (not pork, ham, etc… just bacon) so the first time I was in Pennsylvania, I got adventuresome and ordered Scrapple at a diner and was shocked that I loved it. (I never really learned what it was though until I saw an episode of Ace of Cakes *lol* )
    I’d be real interested to try Ponhaus.
    (Now that I’ve rambled enough… *lol* )

  3. Mark Grubic says:

    OK, I got to weigh in on this. Ponhaus/Panhaus/whatever and Scrapple are the same basic food stuff, difference is in the seasoning. As for puddin’, think scrapple without so much corn meal, making less of a slicable meat stuff and more of a ‘pudding’. My dad likes puddin between or on his pancakes and of course, King Syrup. Now I like lots of different things meat wise, but puddin is just something I cannot bring myself to eat. I think it is in the consistancy. And the best definition of just what exactly is in scrapple comes from an old butcher my dad and I went to in Steelton, PA. He told me one time that scrapple is everything that’s left from the butchered pig, but the squeal. Enough said. Jo, you brought it up, ou should have known, I would weigh in. One note for Hubby, never, EVER, never pass up a chance to buy scrapple at any Market in York (especially if it on sale!!!!) lol
    Bis spaeter,
    Von Oesterriech,

  4. Ann says:

    I grew up in York County and enjoyed ponhaus which my mother fried in the big iron skillet. Initially, I liked it with apple butter or syrup but later enjoyed it just plain…..softer in the middle with a crisp crust on the outside. Later, my children were brought up with that wonderful breakfast food. Today, I live in San Antonio and don’t have access to that delectible dish but when I visit good old York County, I go to market, pack it well and freeze plenty then check in my baggage on the airline. It arrives still frozen! It is a treat to share with my children.
    Thanks for the memories.

  5. amy says:

    I am dating a gentlman who is of German Baptist descent, and he has introduced me to Pon Haus. I would like to know if I can freeze it? I used to live in Pennsylvania, but never made it to Lancaster. It is now on my bucket list of things to do.
    Thank you!

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