Wrapping up a week in which it seems I can’t stop talking about Amish food (Amish bulk food stores, Amish canning, Amish maple syrup) I was happily surprised to find a new article on Indiana Amish food markets in the Chicago Tribune (see Indiana Amish food markets).
When I hear “Amish markets” I tend to think of the PA Dutch farmers’ markets you see in urban and suburban areas, mainly run by Lancaster Amish on the Eastern Seaboard (in the areas of DC, Philly, Baltimore and other places).
The markets in the Tribune article are more the local stores found in Amish areas, in this case the Indiana Amish communities of Elkhart/Lagrange Counties (Shipshewana area) and Allen County (Grabill).
The Amish stores mentioned in the piece are E & S Sales and Rise ‘n’ Roll Bakery in the Elkhart-Lagrange Amish community (though I think Rise ‘n’ Roll is no longer Amish-owned but Amish-staffed), and Grabill Country Sales and Schmucker’s Produce Farm and Greenhouse in the Allen County Amish community. Anyone been to these? I’ve been to Rise ‘n’ Roll and I believe Schmucker’s (they start to blur together ).
From the article:
“We have seen a small increase in the number of (food-related) outlets, but we’ve seen a lot getting much larger,” says Zehr. “We’ve noticed a big increase in people coming from Fort Wayne and Chicago and Michigan to get that type of food.”
The Chupps family’s E&S Sales at 1265 N. Indiana 5 in Shipshewana has nearly doubled the size of the store recently. Most days, this granddaddy of Amish groceries has a long line of buggies and patient horses parked outside, as well as a parking lot full of cars.
The market now includes an ice cream shop and fresh produce along with a huge assortment of staples – including bulk flours and other baking needs, rices, grains, nuts, dried fruits, candies, unusual cheeses, soup mixes, canned goods, herbs, spices, flavorings and even cleaning supplies.
I’m not sure how many “classic” PA Dutch markets–I’m meaning the urban kind with mixed vendors–can be found in Indiana cities; I believe I read of one in Chicago but haven’t heard of any in-state. That probably reflects the greater distance to high population areas (as well as other occupational opportunities available to Amish) though it still seems feasible. If you know of any Indiana urban or suburban Amish markets let us know.
As an aside I guess I’ve had Amish food on the brain lately since I’ll be traveling to Amish Pennsylvania in a week or so. I’m mentally preparing, kind of like a surgeon before operating or an athlete before the big game. That, and I’ve actually been thinking lately about our national obsession with food–this week I discovered there is a reality show based on baking gourmet cupcakes for a panel of judges(!)–but I guess that’s a topic for another time.
Indiana Amish edibles have had a good run lately. A year ago we discussed Middlebury’s Rise ‘n’ Roll Bakery & Deli producing “Gourmet” Amish Apple Butter for the upscale Dean and Deluca company. So it looks like Indiana Amish food continues to be on the upswing and three cheers for that.
And with that we officially bring Amish America Food Week to an end (though for how long I can’t say).