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Near West Chester in Chester County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Tavern Fare

What sort of food was served at the Center House?

 
 
Tavern Fare Marker image. Click for full size.
By Keith S Smith, March 14, 2012
1. Tavern Fare Marker
Inscription.
Tavern Fare...
What sort of food was served at the Center House?


To date, no specific food has been linked to this particular tavern, but Joseph Martin would probably have provided 18th century Anglo-Welsh American “country food,” best described as plain and hearty.
Salted or smoked pork and beef products such as hams, bacon, dried ‘chipped’ beef and corned beef were often available year round. Baked goods included breads, biscuits, and pies. Breakfasts were usually cold meat “leftovers.” Dinner was available all afternoon, with seasoned vegetables, often broiled. Supper was soup, gruel, porridge, or ‘suppawn,’ corn meal mush. Flavorings were limited to salt and herbs, with black pepper and other spices in very limited amounts. Butter and cheese were locally available; fresh milk simply did not keep.

Potables

In 1798, Chester County had six malthouses and nine distilleries. The most common drinks were hard cider and “cider royal,” fortified with apple brandy. Rye whiskey often came from the west, while rum and gin occasionally appeared from the West Indies and Holland. Tavern keepers bartered food and lodging for groceries and liquors from wagoners passing to and from Philadelphia, Wilmington, and Lancaster.
Locally-distilled specialties
Ruins of the Dining Room at Martins Tavern image. Click for full size.
By Keith S Smith, March 14, 2012
2. Ruins of the Dining Room at Martins Tavern
included ‘Apple Jack’ made from apples, ‘peachy’ made from peaches, and ‘perry’ made from pears. ‘Cherry bounce’ was a potent mix of crushed fresh cherries soaked in rye whiskey. Most taverns, including Martin’s had abundant orchards near them, producing the fruit beverages mentioned.
 
Erected 2006 by Friends of Martins Tavern.
 
Location. 39° 56.986′ N, 75° 40.881′ W. Marker is near West Chester, Pennsylvania, in Chester County. Marker can be reached from West Strasburg Road. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: Northbrook Road, West Chester PA 19380, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Court of Quarter Sessions (here, next to this marker); Humphrey Marshall (here, next to this marker); Martin's Tavern or Center House (here, next to this marker); Martins Tavern and The Battle of Brandywine (here, next to this marker); The Home and Arboretum of Humphry Marshall (within shouting distance of this marker); Humphry Marshall (within shouting distance of this marker); The Marshallton Historic District (approx. 0.2 miles away); Marshalton Inn (approx. 0.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in West Chester.
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker.
 
Categories. Colonial EraSettlements & Settlers
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Keith S Smith of West Chester, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 316 times since then and 19 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Keith S Smith of West Chester, Pennsylvania. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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