When a Funeral in Pennsylvania Meant Raisin Pie

A funeral often has a large meal afterward, because it can mean hours of ceremonies for family and friends who may have traveled a long way to be there. The meal is often provided by a church or community group. In the past, these meals were as traditional as the funeral rites themselves, and everyone knew what their role would be if someone died. Among the Pennsylvania Dutch, the Amish, and the Mennonites in the 19th century, these meals were not only traditional, they were quite lavish and well-attended. And there was always raisin pie.

Why raisin pie? For one thing, it was a pie you could make any time of year since it used preserved fruit. It was also quite extravagant and not likely to be made outside of a special occasion. Raisins were labor-intensive before seedless varieties of grapes were developed. Another reason was because it could stay on a table without refrigeration. Over time, raisin pie came to be used only for funerals in Pennsylvania, and serving it at any other time could be taken as an insult. Read about the tradition of raisin pie for funerals, and find a recipe too, at Atlas Obscura.

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Source: neatorama

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