It's no secret that cheese plates and charcuterie are back in... not that they were ever 'out' in the first place, that is. Pennsylvania is known for its dependence on locally sourced and produced foods, including gourmet meats and cheeses that the locals can't get enough of. And now, those who visit can treat themselves to the same local bites that line every cheese plate out there. Introducing: The Pennsylvania Chopped Trail.

With a number of markets and farms specializing in aged and dried meats, Pennsylvnia has fully embraced this trail to add to the growing list of three other trails that have recently premiered. Here's what to know about it, and how to experience it personally.


Pennsylvania's History With Local Meats

The state of Pennsylvania is no stranger to the world of charcuterie. According to Visit PA, cured meats were 'born out of necessity' and many of the state's butcher shops and restaurants are still procuring them to this day. The new Chopped Trail aims to bring together visitors to the state and its time-honored tradition of drying, aging, and cooking meats, particularly:

  • knockwurst
  • kielbasa
  • liver sausage
  • salami
  • soppressata
  • ring bologna
  • Lebanon (sweet) balogna
  • venison
  • dried and cured elk

Pennsylvania is also home to the largest processing production of venison, as well, according to Visit PA. In regard to the diverse variety of meats that visitors can experience on the Chopped Trail, this can easily be attributed to the diverse history of those who have settled in the state throughout the centuries. With influences from Germany, Italy, and the methods handed down from early pioneers and settlers, the result has been nothing short of varied. It's likely that visitors to the Chopped Trail will notice hints of smoke and earthiness to many of the meats, which is a nod to the earliest days of meat preservation.

Related: From Dandelion Greens To Shoofly Pie, These Pennsylvania Dutch Dishes Are Lancaster Staples

The Chopped Trail Stops

Interested in taking the trail route? The good news is, it's easy enough and takes visitors through the most delicious - as well as the most scenic - parts of Pennsylvania. The Chopped Trail is divided into five different miniature road trips based on which region of Pennsylvania a person is visiting, each of which has its own list of unique stops.

Upstate Pennsylvania, Pocono Mountains & Valleys Of The Susquehanna

This road trip will take three days to complete, with 14 stops along the way. Highlights include: Kielbasa, beef sticks, knockwurst, as well as many other cured varieties of meat.

  • Kowalonek's Kielbasa
  • Masser's Farm Market
  • Wild for Salmon
  • East and West Paden Twin Covered Bridges
  • Vista Lodge
  • Sullivan County Historical Society and Museum
  • Antler Ridge Winery
  • Stepniak Beef
  • Alpine Wurst and Meat House
  • The Lodge at Woodloch
  • Plains Meat Market
  • WILD Meats
  • Tarnowski's Kielbasa
  • The Charcuterie

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Wilds & Great Lakes Region

This road trip will take three days to complete, with 14 stops along the way. Highlights include: Local elk jerky, local beer from Straub Brewery, and wines from Pennsylvania vineyards. Travelers may also have a chance to see wild elk as they pass through each region.

  • Elk Country Visitor Center
  • Straub Brewery
  • Jack Bell's Meat Market
  • Elk County Elk Farm
  • Foxburg Inn Hotel
  • Wendell August Forge
  • Con Yeager Spice Company
  • Herb Brittner's Smokehouse
  • Winfield Winery
  • Moe's Smoked Meats and Deli
  • Whispering Pines Farm
  • Schnur's Country Market
  • Stello Foods
  • Laurel Mountain Winery

Pittsburgh & Laurel Highlands

This road trip will take two days to complete, with 15 stops along the way. Highlights Include: A wide variety of German, Italian, and Polish charcuterie to sample, as well as many optional stop-offs to learn about the history of Western Pennsylvania.

  • Parma Sausage Company
  • Jonathan Moran Woodworking
  • Pennsylvania Market
  • S and D Deli
  • Henry Grasso, Inc.
  • Silver Star Meats
  • Pittsburgh Spice and Seasoning
  • Las Palmas Carniceria
  • LeoGreta
  • The Shepherd's Inn
  • Heritage Craft Butchers
  • Hungarian Smokehouse
  • Stone House Butcher & Provisions
  • Nemacolin Woodlands Resort
  • Polymath Park Homes

Philadelphia, Dutch Country High Roads & Leigh Valley

This road trip will take three days to complete, with 13 stops along the way. Highlights include: Central Market which is home to more varieties of charcuterie than almost any other, along with unique offerings found only in these regions.

  • Central Market
  • Nature's Platter
  • Charles Ilyes Family Meats
  • Smoke and Pickles
  • Dogwood Acres
  • Black Swan Antiques
  • Laudermilch Meats
  • Dietrich's Meats and Country Store
  • Nello's Specialty Meats
  • Morris House Hotel
  • Di Bruno Bros.
  • Royal Boucherie
  • Brauhaus Schmitz

Pennsylvania Wilds, The Alleghenies & Valleys Of The Susquehanna

This road trip takes three days to complete, with 15 stops along the way. Highlights include: Delcious charcuterie as well as local ice cream, barbecue, wines, and woodworking pieces for those interested in local wares.

  • ShuttRolling Hills Deer Farm
  • W.A. Rothermel Meats
  • Edelholz Woodworking
  • Hilsher's General Store
  • North Mountain Pastures
  • Benner's Meat Market
  • Juniata Valley Winery Wilson House Bed & Breakfast
  • Peachey Food & Ice
  • Belleville Livestock Auction
  • Berkey Creamery
  • The Meat Lab
  • Hogs Galore
  • Black Moshannon Lodge
  • The Country Butcher
  • Santinoceto's Market

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