Pittsburgh is known for a variety of foods that reflect the city’s diverse cultural heritage.
Due to its history as a melting pot of European immigrants, Pittsburgh has a rich culinary tradition that includes Italian, Polish, German, and Eastern European cuisine.
Having access to a wide range of cuisines means that you can try new foods and flavors that you might not have had the opportunity to experience otherwise.
Pittsburgh is located in the Allegheny Plateau region of Pennsylvania, which is known for its fertile soil, rolling hills, and abundant water sources. As a result, several local ingredients are commonly used in Pittsburgh cuisine.
Pittsburgh has a unique culinary scene that combines old-world traditions with modern twists, and there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Local ingredients are usually fresher because they don’t have to travel as far to reach their destination. This means that they retain more of their nutrients, flavors, and aromas.
Food brings people together and trying new dishes with friends and family can be a great way to socialize and connect with others. Here are five creative ways you can incorporate local ingredients in your event buffet in Pittsburgh.
‘Build Your Own’ Pierogi Bar
A pierogi is a traditional Polish dumpling famous in Pittsburgh as it was first introduced by the immigrants who came down to the city. The filling gives pierogies their savory flavor, while the dough gives them their chewy texture. Depending on the ingredients, the filling can be either sweet or savory, but the potato and cheese combination is a more common filling for pierogies.
You can give guests the option to assemble their pierogis using local ingredients like kielbasa and sauerkraut. Whether eaten on their own or as a side dish, pierogies are a warm and cozy meal that will be a great new addition to your event buffet in Pittsburgh. Delicious and relevant!
Offer Variety with Dips and Salsa
Made with Pittsburgh’s very own locally grown vegetables, dips would be a great way to incorporate local ingredients into your event buffet. French onion dip is a traditional party appetizer, but in Pittsburgh, Vidalia or Walla Walla onions are frequently used. The dip’s sweet, rich flavor—owed to the caramelized onions—pairs well with salty crackers or chips.
For tortilla chips, salsa is a common dip, and in Pittsburgh, local tomatoes can be used for this. Pittsburgh is the perfect location for growing tomatoes due to its extended growing season and mild summers. Fresh tomatoes, onions, jalapenos, and cilantro can be used to make a salsa, giving each crunchy bite a kick of zesty flavor—a burst of freshness for guests at the event.
Set Up a Salad Station
Giving guests the option to choose from a variety of local fresh ingredients such as lettuce, tomatoes, spinach, and even poultry to customize their preferred salads allows them to make healthier choices according to their dietary restrictions. This option can also add a sense of inclusivity to the event.
Although Pittsburgh is not particularly recognized for any particular salad, a Western Pennsylvania-based salad is well-liked in Pittsburgh and the neighboring areas. This steak salad typically consists of a bed of mixed greens, grilled steak, shredded cheese (commonly cheddar or provolone), tomatoes, onions, and French fries.
Offer a Charcuterie Board with Locally Sourced Meats and Cheeses
It’s not difficult to source a variety of ingredients in Pittsburgh, from different types of meat to an assortment of cheese. Incorporating Pittsburgh-themed items into a charcuterie board can be a fun and delicious way to celebrate the local culture.
Local cheeses and cured meats from Pittsburgh, including cheddar, feta, kielbasa, and pepperoni, are well known. Including these ingredients in your event buffet in Pittsburgh can give your charcuterie board a distinctive regional flavor. Pittsburghers love their pretzels, so including some soft pretzels on your charcuterie board can be a tasty and entertaining touch as well.
Serve Up Locally Brewed Wines and Spirits
Pittsburgh is home to a thriving local craft beer sector and an increasing number of distilleries in the area provide a variety of regional alcoholic beverages to offer your guests an authentic Pittsburgh experience. To truly experience the locality, serve these beverages with regional treats such as pretzels or potato chips.
Locally produced wines and alcoholic beverages can give visitors a distinctive cultural experience by highlighting the history and customs of the area. Those exploring an alternative to the usual range of wines and spirits may find this to be particularly appealing. This would be a great addition to your event’s buffet menu.
There are various benefits to incorporating local ingredients in your event buffet in Pittsburgh
Not only does incorporating local ingredients in your event buffet in Pittsburgh give your guests the real taste of local cuisine but it is also a great alternative to the regular event buffet menus. If you want the best service possible at your event, however, you should consider hiring the best catering in Pittsburgh for expert handling of locally sourced ingredients and high-quality food.