The pasty, the cudighi, the pork pie, and the whitefish...all U.P. supper staples, as posted by our Facebook fans. But what's behind each delicious dish, landing them at the top of our local menus? I went to the Marquette History Center to find out.
"It is a huge melting pot of cultures of people that live here that came from a lot of different countries; many of them came to work in the iron ore mines, and so there was a huge influx of immigrants here," said Rosemary Michelin, Librarian at the Marquette Regional History Center.
You can thank the Finns for their cardamom bread, the Italians for their cudighi sausage, and our northern neighbors, the French Canadians, for their pork pies.
First harvested from Lake Superior by the real U.P. natives, including the Ojibwa, the popular whitefish is now served in a variety of forms.
"There's whitefish sausage, whitefish pt," Michelin said.
But a story about U.P. unique food wouldn't be a story at all without the pasty, a Cornish recipe popularized in local mines.
"It was the first original fast food," said Peter Lawry, owner of Lawry's Pasties in Marquette. "It's a good, heavy meal when you're working all day in the mines. It's easy to transport, and it's delicious."
Lawry's family has been in the pasty-making business since 1946. His local delicacies are now shipped across the country to tourists who crave a taste of the U.P.
And after two years of working here in Marquette, I finally got my very first taste of a pasty. Let's say I wasn't disappointed!