Cultural Heritage Recipe Box

Exploring our food to connect with our traditions!

Cookie Table Display

A western Pennsylvania tradition—the cookie table!

A Taste of the Past

One of the ways Rivers of Steel explores the various ethnic and culture traditions of southwestern Pennsylvania is through the connections, stories, and recipes that relate to our foods.  The stories below originated on our blog over time and are gathered here. Shared by people from throughout the Rivers of Steel Heritage Area, many are holiday recipes from a variety of cultural traditions. Rather than precise measurements, it’s the fond memories and special meanings associated with the recipe that make the dishes and desserts taste so good. We’re thankful to all of these cooks and bakers for sharing their heritage with us, and we hope that these recipes will inspire you to put on your apron and celebrate the melting pot of cultures that define our region.

Recipes, Customs, and Heritage Keep Us Close During Springtime Celebrations

In this story from April of 2020, Brianna Horan, Rivers of Steel’s manager of tourism and visitor experience, explores traditions during a time of social distancing. From Easter breads to pysanky eggs, Pittsburgh’s immigrant legacy offers rich cultural traditions…and lots of recipes you can try right now!

(Also includes links to local bakeries and eateries that you can support, if bread-baking isn’t your thing.)

Springtime Traditions

Cultural Heritage Recipe Box—Winter Holidays Edition

This seven-part series was published between Thanksgiving, 2020 and and Orthodox Christmas in January, 2021. Each story that shares a recipe (or recipes!) also offers a window into the diverse heritage traditions celebrated in our region.

Thanksgiving   German Christmas Recipes Hanukkah   Serbian (and Italian) Traditions   A Pittsburgh Christmas Story Kwanzaa   Orthodox Christmas

About the Heritage Area

The Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area celebrates the region’s industrial history, the landscape that fueled it, and the hardworking men and women who made it possible, linking its communities through their shared cultural and industrial heritage. The eight-county region represents the Pittsburgh Industrial District and includes Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Greene, Washington, and Westmoreland Counties in southwestern Pennsylvania. It is one of 55 National Heritage Areas and one of 12 State Heritage Areas.

Learn More About the Heritage Area

Learn More About Rivers of Steel’s attractions

that showcase the artistry and innovation of our region’s rich heritage.