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A 120-year-old tradition continued at Seltzer’s Smokehouse


On Thanksgiving, when many people indulge in a substantial helping of turkey, a local business is concentrating on the beef—a smokey, cured meat-style beef.

When the business is still run by the same family, as Seltzer’s in Palmyra, Lebanon County, is, it is much more uncommon. The company was established in 1902, and this generation is the fourth.

According to Perry Smith, a semi-retired sales director at Seltzer’s Smokehouse Meats, “it’s rare today for companies to be 120 years old.

Harvey Seltzer, a German immigrant, began producing a product like summer sausage but using only beef, Smith recalled.

“This is completely original. Lebanon bologna is the only lunchmeat like it, according to Smith. “Roughly 87-95%”

It is the Lebanon bologna that many people in Pennsylvania and elsewhere now recognise.

“This is completely original. Lebanon bologna is the only lunchmeat like it, according to Smith. It is 85% to 875% fat-free. All the ingredients are beef, and we only add salt, sugar, and spices after that.

The fact that Seltzer’s Smokehouse Lebanon bologna is produced in vintage smokehouses is what makes it so special.

The process of smoking beef in outside wooden smokehouses is incredibly labor-intensive and takes two to three days, according to Smith. The only outdoor wooden smokehouses in the United States that are subject to federal inspection are at Seltzer’s, and the company claims to totally rebuild them every few years.

Smith claimed that one can taste the distinction. He declared, “It’s strongly wood smoke.” This is how it’s done: “It’s just like if you make a campfire outside and the smoke.”

Between 110,000 and 120,000 pounds of Lebanon bologna are sold each week by Seltzer’s, with the majority of those sales taking place in central Pennsylvania. The company is expanding into products like beef jerky and beef sticks, with more to come, as the popularity of charcuterie boards has increased demand for the bologna. A Small Business Saturday event is also being planned by Seltzer’s.

The director of community engagement and marketing for Seltzer said, “We’re going to be making grilled bologna sandwiches on the pretzel bun, because they are amazing, and all the proceeds go to Caring Cupboard, which is a great organisation. It’s the ideal spot to buy holiday presents because there will also be cheap gift boxes and a visit from the corporate mascot dressed as Santa.

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