About Regional Flavor
Really, there are two Michigans: the Upper Peninsula, which is home to the savory meat pie known as a pasty (say pass-tee), as well as to superb Lake Superior seafood, and the southern part of the state, aka “mitten” (shapewise), where you’ll find drop-dead delicious pies made from locally grown cherries and apples. The University of Michigan’s presence makes Ann Arbor an eater’s paradise, from world-class sliders to worldly foreign fare to bakeries and delis that are second-to-none.
Michigan Regional Specialties
The pasty (say pass-tee, not pay-stee) began as a portable stew – meat and vegetables sealed inside a pastry crust -- that Cornish miners used to carry with them for lunch. Long after the mines closed, it remains a popular dish in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, where families from Cornwall settled. Traditionally, pasties are filled with beef or beef and pork with chunks of potato, rutabaga and onion, but today you will encounter gourmet pasties filled with steak, pizza pasties with pepperoni and mozzarella, Reuben pasties, chicken pasties, even vegetarian pasties for meat-phobes and breakfast pasties filled with eggs and sausage.
The Michigan cherries used for pies are tart, but because they boom with fruit flavor, they are the ideal filling. A ratio of 5 (cups of cherries) to 1 (cup of sugar) piled into a leaf lard crust yields one of the great pies in the nation. Served warm and a la mode: even better!