Beyond Cheesesteaks - A History of Iconic Philly Foods

Beyond Cheesesteaks - A History of Iconic Philly Foods

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PhillyBite Rosati IcePhiladelphia, PA - It’s impossible to visit Philadelphia and not taste some of the city’s signature foods. Philly’s flavors are so universally craved; there are companies that ship some of the classics right to your door. No matter where you live, though, you’re sure to find a brand bred with brotherly love in your local supermarket. The following is a list of well-known food companies that have their roots in the Philadelphia region.


Rosati Ice – America’s oldest Italian ice company, started in the basement of Sam Rosati’s West Philadelphia home. In 1912, the so-called “King of Water Ice” used to hand crank his ices and then sell them from horse-drawn carriages throughout the city. Fast forward 106 years and Rosati Ice is available nationwide in Acme, Weis Markets, United Supermarkets and school cafeterias. Rosati’s scoop shop at the company’s Clifton Heights, Pa., headquarters also remains open.

Campbell’s – The chicken soup you crave when you’re sick comes from right across the river. Camden, N.J., is the birthplace of Campbell Soup Company. In 1869, Joseph Campbell and Abraham Anderson formed the business and opened their first plant. It would be another 42 years before Campbell’s soups received national distribution. Campbell’s may now be a household name, but its world headquarters is still located in good ol’ Camden.

Dietz & Watson – Is it truly a Philadelphia hoagie if it’s not made with Dietz & Watson deli meat? Gottlieb Dietz and Walter Watson teamed up to create their namesake company in 1939 when Dietz purchased the Watson Meat Company. Dietz & Watson started out along the Delaware River, right next to the Benjamin Franklin Bridge. The company’s 1975 move to its current headquarters in Northeast Philadelphia allowed for significant expansion of its operations. Now Dietz & Watson’s premium meats and artisan cheeses are available at deli counters in every corner of the country.

Tastykake – Tasty Baking Company got its start in Philadelphia in 1914. Philip Baur, the son of a Pittsburgh bakery owner, and Herbert Morris spent days searching Philly’s bustling streets for the perfect building. They found it on Sedgley Avenue in Germantown. In the early days, the individually wrapped snack cakes, or Tastykakes, were delivered by horse and wagon, just like the first Rosati water ices. By the 1980s, Tastykakes had left a sweet impression well beyond Philly, but the company still calls the city home.

 


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