Governor’s Greetings

Letters presents readers' comments and reactions to specific articles in Pennsylvania Heritage, the initiatives of PHMC, and other developments in the historical, cultural and museum communities of Pennsylvania.



The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) adopted “The Land of Penn and Plenty: Bringing History to the Table” as its annual theme for 2012 to celebrate and share the richness and diversity of Pennsylvania’s agricultural and culinary traditions.

Since its founding in 1681 by William Penn (1644–1718), Pennsylvania has been universally acknowledged for its abundance of rich soil, game, fish and fowl, a bountiful legacy that spawned culinary traditions over the past three centuries. Over the years, Pennsylvania’s culinary landscape has evolved and continues to broaden with arriving immigrants. From the earliest Swedish, English, and German pioneers to following waves of Irish, Scots, African, Eastern, Southern and Central European, and Italian settlers, and followed by Asians and Latinos during the mid-to-late twentieth century, Pennsylvania is truly a “melting pot” of nationalities and their culinary experiences.

As we look back through time to assess the impact of food on our history and heritage, we must also look to today and forward to the future. Food sustains our economy; agriculture is the commonwealth’s largest industry. Pennsylvania has been — and is — home to farms, orchards, farmers’ markets, hatcheries and fisheries, grain mills, breweries, canneries, vineyards, butchers, processors, factories, and bakeries that produce a number of time-honored staples, but also provide new and unusual foods — made possible by innovative and advanced technologies — that enhance and continue our illustrious culinary heritage. In addition, we respect our longstanding tradition of “farm to table,” which provides healthy, Pennsylvania-grown produce and locally-made foodstuffs for our families, especially children, the future of the Keystone State.

On behalf of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, I invite all residents and visitors to sample and share the richness and diversity that Pennsylvania, “The Land of Penn and Plenty,” has to offer.