Ohio Amish Country Foods: Jams & Jars
From a peanut butter spread that's a staple of Amish kitchens to a rainbow of homemade jams, here’s what to stock up on.
Peanut Butter Spread
Walnut Creek Foods makes this thinner and sweeter alternative to peanut butter. walnutcreekfoods.com
Fredericksburg’s Mrs. Miller’s Homemade Jams offers dozens of flavors. millershomemadejams.com
Made in Fresno, Ohio, Buckeye Berry Patch crafts jams and jellies that can be found at Heini’s Cheese Chalet. heinis.com
Middlefield’s Miller’s Country Jams can be purchased at Rothenbühler Cheese Chalet. rothenbuhlercheesemakers.com
Along with its wealth of pies and cookies, Dutch Valley Bakery also sells a wide variety of breads, including classic white rolls. dhgroup.com
Amish Wedding Foods: As its name suggests, these traditional jarred goods are inspired by what members of the Amish community serve at special gatherings. Founded in Holmes County, the Amish Wedding Foods line has since gone on to national distribution of its more than 230 products, which adhere to old-fashioned, slow-cooking methods and simple ingredients. Stop by Troyer Market in Millersburg for a selection. amishweddingfoods.com
Tonn’s Honey: After Tom Tonn turned his beekeeping hobby into a full-time career in 1976, Tonn’s Honey grew to produce several types: clover, orange blossom, buckwheat, a blended wildflower variety and an all-Ohio-sourced premium honey. (The Walnut Creek business also sells raw, unfiltered honey from the comb.) No additives or preservatives makes for a tastier and healthier product. tonnshoney.com
The Experience: Lehman’s
The food section at Lehman’s looks like the world’s most stocked country kitchen. Jars stand side by side in cupboards, and displays throughout the space invite browsing. Goods range from a rainbow of jams and jellies to high-quality honey that comes from a purveyor who is literally just down the road.
Founded by Jay Lehman in 1955 as a small hardware store that served the local Amish community by stocking nonelectric items, Lehman’s has grown while still maintaining its original focus. The quarter-mile shopping experience often draws customers who want to try their hand at some of the homesteading practices that have recently gained in popularity.
“Baking bread, churning butter, making homemade ice cream — if those products aren’t around and people with the knowledge to teach, then a certain way of life becomes extinct,” says Glenda Lehman Ervin, vice president of marketing at Lehman’s.
New interest in the old ways also plays to the satisfaction of making something by hand. Apple corers are popular among home bakers as the fruit comes into season each fall, and Lehman’s stocks a variety of small, gift-worthy manual kitchen gadgets.
“It feels good that the message is resonating so much … where for many years we were kind of a niche business,” Ervin says. “My dad used to say the pendulum swings both ways, so we went from the convenience-based society to the other spectrum where it’s more work, but it is work that you want to do.”
4779 Kidron Rd., Kidron 44636, 800/438-5346, lehmans.com
Go To: Cheese & Meat | Pastries & Pies | Ohio Amish Country Food Guide