Great food never goes out of style, and when it comes to meat, if you want fresh local products, it’s always better to visit your local butcher than a large scale supermarket. Here in Pennsylvania the Lehigh Valley area still maintains a strong tradition of butcher shops and quality meat at several different places.
Deitrich’s Meats And Country Store
Dietrich’s, at exit 40 along route 78, is a full service butchery including various meat cuts, game processing, and smokehouse. They also carry select groceries including Pennsylvania Dutch specialties and homemade baked goods. This is a family business since 1957, and their website lauds that they are “dedicated to continuing the traditional food ways of the Pennsylvania Dutch culture.” It is one of the rare places where you could still buy a pickled pigs head or smoked pigs feet, Buffalo bologna (and other Buffalo meats), pork brain, tripe gizzard’s tongue. Famous for processing deer they also dress pheasants, goose, and turkeys. Plus there’s a large variety of baked goods such as cookies and Pies.
Thomson’s Meat Market
A short drive from North Whitehall, Thomson’s market is a throwback to a classic local corner grocery store. It can be found off route 145 north of Allentown on Washington street. Known mostly for their smoked meats including landjaegers, turkey sticks, ring bologna, an array of kielbassa products including their own store made selection of lunch meats. The place is always extremely clean and well staffed with friendly and knowledgeable people including the butchers.
The Allentown Fairgrounds And Farmer’s Market
In the center of the West End of Allentown there is a large fairground complex that hosts a standing farmers market that holds several shops that will cover all your butchering needs. There are eight butcher shops and three poultry outlets that sell everything from organic, grass fed, free range meat to pickled beyond identification traditional Pennsylvania Dutch meats. Only open three days a week, all of these butchers are supplied with fresh local goods and are intent on giving the customer courteous and fast service. Towards closing time on Saturdays you can often haggle for a better price to get more meat per dollar, and the shopping format allows you to sample meats from eleven locations without moving your car. Be sure to buy a few gallons of raw milk while you’re there.
The Lehigh Valley is worth the trip, the food and products at the locations above are priced low in the region and are top notch in quality.