(Commonwealth of Pennsylvania)
- Location: Northeastern United States
- Capital: Harrisburg
- Language(s): English
- Population: 12,985,467
- Total Area: 119,283 sq km
- Curious Alcohol Fact: There is birch beer in Pennsylvania
- Most Popular Drink(s): Beers
- Nickname(s): Oil State, State of Independence, Quaker State
- What You Must Do in Pennsylvania: Tour Philadelphia
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a special state. One of the original 13 states that established American nationhood, Pennsylvania was admitted into the Union in 1787 as the second state (only Delaware joined earlier). Named after Admiral William Pennsylvania, the state is classified as one of the Mid-Atlantic States although it has no coastline with the Atlantic Ocean. Pennsylvania is bounded on the east by the states of New York and New Jersey and on the south by Maryland, Delaware and West Virginia. To the north of the state is the gracious Lake Erie and part of New York while it is bounded on the west by Ohio and West Virginia. The history of the state reflects its prestigious position in the nation and it is the site of various historic national monuments such as the Liberty Bell and the Independence Hall. Right from time, Pennsylvania has always been one of the most populous states in the country and its climate has been classified as continental although there can be wide seasonal variations. Water features prominently in the geography of the state and is mainly drained by three rivers: the Ohio, the Delaware and the Susquehanna.
In a pattern similar to the other states in the country, the residents of Pennsylvania are mainly Whites who make up more than 85% of the population. Other ethnic groups include the Blacks (African Americans), Asians, American Indians, Hispanics, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders. When it comes to religious affiliations, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is an interesting state as there are hundreds of religious denominations in the state. That is understandable considering the fact that the state was set up as a colony for the Quakers by William Pennsylvania who also guaranteed freedom of worship for the other faiths prompting a large influx of people of other denominations.
This state has the largest population of Amish on the planet and one thing that I will never forget about the state is the wonderful reception (and the delightful meals) given to me by my Amish hosts. If you are thinking the Amish do not have superb dishes, then you are wrong! With the Amish, you will enjoy lovely potato fritters, red beet eggs, rivvel soups and funny cake pies –these are really exotic dishes and all you need to be convinced is just a single bite. I was so impressed with the Amish dishes that I visited the market one day and attempted to prepare a bowl of rivvel soup myself –although my hosts could not stop laughing. And yes –you need to check out the Amish potato salad! Oh, you will love the Amish. In some other parts of the state, you will be treated to German-inspired dishes such as pork sausage and sauerkraut. Other meals include chicken potpie, cup cheese and chow-chow.
The most popular beers in the state are root beer and birch beer. These drinks are really refreshing and you will enjoy communal drinking with the residents. Wines, fruit juices and soft drinks are also available.
Pennsylvania is one of the most impressive states in the country as far as sporting activities are concerned. From baseball to basketball, residents of the state are excellent representatives. Other sports in the state include college football, baseball, basketball, horseracing, soccer and motor racing. If you are a keen follower of sporting events, Pennsylvania is the state for you.
- Philadelphia was once the capital of the United States.
- Pennsylvania is also referred to as the State of Independence.
- More mushrooms are produced in Pennsylvania than in any other state.
Story By World By Shotglass
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Special thanks to our contributors:
Adebayo Ahmed Adebola (Ilorin, Nigeria).