Dutch platters help make friends from strangers

What is a Dutch platter? Now, apart from delicious food, the Dutch platter represents an opportunity to enjoy a feast with friends and strangers in the hope of making new friends from strangers. Breaking bread is, so to speak, a great way to open your mind and doors.

I recently had a “hausgemacht” (homemade) reception where my wife and I had to visit a musician, composer, entertainer, historian, newspaper publisher Dr. Michael Werner and his guest Herbert Thiefel. I wanted a memorable Dutch plate. He is the founder of the first Grundsow Lodge # 19 in Germany and has several friends and colleagues in the art community of Kutztown Folk Festival and Northern Berks County.

Without smoking from my brain or ears, I contacted Dietrich’s meat in Greenwich Township and my friend Dawn Dietrich in the country store. In other words, it was easy for me to go for a typical and perfect Dutch platter. Let’s talk a little more about platters.

The idea of ​​the night is an informal folklore that allows all guests, especially Werner and Tiffel, to comfortably immerse themselves in the unique culture of the Pfalz region of the Rhine Valley, where many of the German ancestors of Berks County were born. It was to create the environment of. , As it appears here in Berks County.

The joy of sharing memories of the Kutztown Folk Festival and how similar the cultures of Burks County and Palatinate are until night, a video recording of a house concert playing three songs Werner created to share love. Was included for our area of ​​Pennsylvania. His goal is to share his love and interest with others in his region of Germany and to stimulate his interest in taking a group of travelers from Germany to Burks.

To that end, Werner has already met with leaders of the Americana region of Pennsylvania, Crystal Sates and Margo DeLucy, to discuss and plan to achieve this goal. Meanwhile, another friend and colleague Douglas J. Maddenford and I wrote some new bilingual songs in English and the Pennsylvania Dutch dialect, with country-to-country tours in mind for the future. Did. We all want to work together to achieve lasting intercity exchanges between the two communities. This is where Reading traveled to perform twice during major festival seasons, like the sister city relationship with Reutlingen in Germany.

I have always believed in grassroots diplomacy from citizen to citizen. Because meeting people, rather than listening to political rhetoric, is the best chance to see how people really feel. Hopes, dreams, plans, love, fears, and even strong dislikes are best exchanged, discussed, and understood on an individual basis, by the way, you can live in real time, not on the internet in cyberspace.

Let’s return to the momentary informal gathering at House Klein. The night gave us the opportunity to share music, food, drinks, conversations, and as always, we all have more in common than our differences. I came to the conclusion.

For that Dutch platter, I knew that Dietrich’s meat and country stores could be relied on to make great food. No one was disappointed. Using homemade recipes, Dietrich’s fares are real! Goods included ring bologna, salted meat sticks, sliced ​​bag bologna, all kinds of spicy cheese and mustard, horseradish pickles, garlic pickles, and delicious red beet eggs.

To this, a huge bag of Diffenbach’s old-fashioned kettle chips, a wet bottom shoofly pie, a tray of cookies, sliced ​​celery and carrot sticks, as well as beer and red, white and sparkling wine from local locations. Added assortment. Some imports from Germany. In my opinion, a neat Dutch platter stains the cheese and meat, so don’t put the red beet eggs with the cheese and meat in the actual platter. All red beats are served as side dishes on your own.

There were only 12 people in this gathering of hearts and spirits. Looking at all the food and drinks on the table, the first one said, “Oh, I did it again. There are too many foods and things.”

Not to worry! The food and drinks were so good that the whole room was quiet for a while, except for the sound of people devouring all the delicacies. Occasional comments such as “Hmm, oh, wonder bar is delicious” interrupted the silence, and eventually almost everything was enthusiastically consumed. What was left was picked up throughout the rest of the night, and the small pieces left at the end of the night were gladly put in a bag and taken home by the guest.

When this happens, you know that what you offered and what your trusted vendor created was a universal hit.

It’s interesting to find that when you search the dictionary or Wikipedia for the word Dutch Platter, there are few references to Pennsylvania Dutch food and culture. You can find one that describes pottery made in the Netherlands. You can find something that describes the charcuterie. This is a flashy word that means more or less the same as what is created when making a Dutch platter. You can find something that describes Dutch food, but there is a terrible lack of information about Pennsylvania Dutch platters.

The so-called omniscient, omniscient collective wisdom of the universe and the internet, as it is more commonly called, has a lot to learn about the wonders of Berks County and our Pennsylvania Dutch! How can I add to the definition of Wikipedia and share my goodness with people all over the world?

Dave Kline is an award-winning author, photographer, show host and producer, singer-songwriter, travel guide, and community advocate. Contact him at

Dutch platters help make friends from strangers

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