The Michigan Pasty and Some Shops That Sell Them
You can tell a true Michigander by the way he or she pronounces the word "pasty" (“PASS-tee” is the correct way to pronounce this northern Michigan treat). When we come across someone who pronounces the word as 'PAY-STEE' then you know they are either a fake Michigander, an out-of-stater, a troll (under-the bridger) who has never ventured north, or a strip-joint owner.
The pasty is kinda like a pot pie, but different. For one thing, a pot pie has more crust; a pasty is JAM-PACKED with your choice of meats, potatoes, vegetables, and seasonings, with MORE filling than crust. The classic version includes beef & pork, lard, rutabaga, onion, carrots and potatoes, but nowadays, there is a wide variety of pasties that include cheese, beans, venison or whatever concoction the chef comes up with. Lard is also sometimes substituted.
When I go north I usually get a pasty anywhere I can find a shop. One will fill you up. Pasty & a beer (or pop for the kids) is all you need to get full.
The pasty was introduced to Michigan's Upper Peninsula when Cornish miners came to America, hoping to seek their fortune in the copper mines. Their knowledge & mining experience worked in their favor and soon other ethnic groups began learning the mining trade from the Cornish.
But it wasn't just the mining trade that was being learned from the Cornish...it was also their cuisine. The pasty was a favorite lunchtime meal that the Cornish gladly whipped up for everyone. Pasties were easy to eat, delicious, stayed hot for hours, filled stomachs, you don't need silverware, and it can be taken to work in a bag, box or any type of lunchbox. The pasty is probably Michigan's very first Fast Food item.
Burgers & fries are great on a Michigan roadtrip, but pasties will last much longer…you’ll be burpin’em up for hours.
Yes, even though it’s British cuisine, we still consider the pasty a true Northern Michigan food. Check out the gallery below for some places that sell pasties...then Google each one to find out their locations!