Philadelphia Pepper Pot

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Philadelphia Pepper Pot
Type Stew
Place of origin United States
Region or state Philadelphia
Main ingredients Beef tripe, vegetables, pepper, other seasonings
Cookbook: Philadelphia Pepper Pot  Media: Philadelphia Pepper Pot

Pepper Pot is a thick stew of beef tripe, vegetables, pepper and other seasonings. The origins of the stew are steeped in legend, with one story attributing the dish to Christopher Ludwick, baker general of the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War.[1] According to this story, during the harsh winter of 1777–1778 farmers near Valley Forge sold food to the British rather than accepting the weak continental currency. The Continental Army survived on soup made of tripe, vegetables, and whatever else they could find.[2]

In the early 19th century, artist John Lewis Krimmel depicted the pepper pot street vendor in Philadelphia with his painting, Pepper-Pot: A Scene in the Philadelphia Market. Krimmel's work was first exhibited in 1811 at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. The painting shows a barefoot black woman serving soup from a pot to white customers.[3]

Pepper Pot shares the same name as soups in the Caribbean and is also credited to black Philadelphians. According to Catherine Clinton's book on "Harriet Tubman" at page 46, "steaming peppery pot was served right on the street---a dish of vegetables, meat, and cassava, imported by West Indians".[4]

The pepper pot is also the symbol of an award given by the Philadelphia chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). The Pepperpot Awards ceremony is held each year recognizing Philadelphia's top PR professionals. The region's equivalent of the national PRSA's Silver Anvil Award for excellence, The Pepperpot Awards were named in 1968 by Bill Parker, APR, then-chapter president and head of Campbell Soup communications. Parker suggested the name to conjure up excitement, liveliness, and good-humored intrigue, saying, "Like Philly's famous soup, we put everything we have into all of our public relations campaigns."

A canned seafood Pepper Pot soup is available in some markets from Bookbinder Specialties, a gourmet soup manufacturer in the Philadelphia area.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Apple Jr., J. R. (2003-05-28). "A Taste of Philadelphia: In Hoagieland, They Accept No Substitutes". Style (The New York Times). Retrieved 2008-01-17. 
  2. ^ Dubourcq 2004, pp. 86-86.
  3. ^ "Africans in America - Part 3: 1791-1831". Historical Documents - Pepper-Pot: A Scene in the Philadelphia Market - 1811. WGBH. Retrieved 2008-01-17. 
  4. ^ Catherine Clinton, Harriet Tubman, The road to Freedom, 2004


  • Dubourcq, Hilaire (2004). Benjamin Franklin Book of Recipes. Fly Fizzi Publishing. pp. 86–87. ISBN 1-900721-20-1.