By Kevin Williams
I came across a fun video on YouTube of an Amish buggy in Lancaster County (the gray buggy top is a tip-off) Pennsylvania that decides to use the drive-thru. Hey, why not? When you're feeling an urge for fries, whether you drive a buggy or a car, sometimes you just need to do it. The drive-thru speaker (true to form) was a little muffled, but I think I heard them ordering a "raspberry lemonade" and maybe a root beer and I think some fries. And upon closer look, it looks like a young Amish man with man who may not be Amish. I can't say that I've ever seen a buggy in a drive-thru line, but this does bring up a larger, more interesting issue about the Amish and fast-food. 100 years ago most Amish live farm to table and worked long hard days, so a lot of carlories were called for. The Great Depression and post WWII years introduced a lot more processed foods to the Amish diet as did the shift to factory work and away from farming in some areas. So the Amish diet has definitely lost its unprocessed purity. I am seeing signs that the pendulum is swinging back to farm-to-table and not all Amish left that mentality behind. But - observationally - I do see more obese Amish today than I did maybe 25 years ago.
I've seen signs that, McDonald's in particular, target the Amish as an untapped market. In Adams County, Ohio, for instance, the Wheat Ridge Amish settlement is "book-ended" on either side by a Golden Arches. The McDonald's in Berne, Indiana and Sturgis, Michigan have Amish employees running the registers and this ad appeared a couple of summers ago in a local paper in Sugarcreek, Ohio, a paper that has a huge Amish audience.
This type of culinary convenience is very tempting and since it appeared in a local edition of The Budget newspaper it was clearly aimed at Amish eaters. Why make homemade biscuits and gravy from scratch when you can eat for a buck? I am sure this gravy-from-a-can has a much messier label than some sausage, milk, and flour back home. All of this takes a slow toll on waistlines. Again, not all Amish have walked down this culinary path, but certainly a good many. But, as noted, I do think the pendulum may be starting to swing the other way.
Oh, and if you want to ditch the dollar biscuits and make your own, try Rosanna's recipe here!