Sunrise from the PlaneA fun part of living a location independent lifestyle is getting to explore the local food culture. The upcoming move is to the Ann Arbor, Michigan area.

I don’t know much about Michigan. I know that Ann Arbor is a college town, the state borders Lake Michigan, it’s an industrial state with plenty of immigration history, and well…the rest I know is mostly doom and gloom from the media. All that being said, I’m excited to visit and get the real story.

I’ve also been following this urban gardening project in Detroit that I’m looking forward to stopping in a seeing the progress. All inner cities could benefit from urban gardening to help supply fresh food, so maybe this will be an example for other cities to model after.

But beyond the landscapes, it’s all about the new dishes to try. Freshwater fish from Lake Michigan, Detroit deep dish pizza and the Coney Dog are a few that I’ve heard about. But with Michigan’s strong history of immigration, I’m sure Michigan’s food culture is more than fish, pizza and hot dogs.

I’m using the Google gods to help get me up to speed on Michigan’s culinary delights before I arrive. And since I’m doing the research, I thought I would share what I find with you. Here is a small list of Michigan more popular food recipes for you to try at home. Or you’re always welcome to come join me in exploring Michigan’s food.

Detroit Red Top Pizza

Bustle | Detroit Red Top Pizza by Pizza Bible
Photo from Bustle | Detroit Red Top Pizza by Pizza Bible

What? The red sauce is on top? I already see the experience of eating Detriot style pizza is going to be interesting. If you want to try it at home, Bustle shares Tony Gemignani’s recipe from his book The Pizza Bible for the famous Detroit Deep Dish Pizza

The Coney Dog

Simply Scratch | Detroit Style Coney Dogs
Photo from Simply Scratch | Detroit Style Coney Dogs

No, the Coney Dog is not from Coney Island! It comes from Michigan. The Michigan Coney Dog is all about the chili, mustard and onions. And then you have to decide if you like Flint or Detroit-style chilies. I’m sharing Simply Scratch’s recipe for Detroit Style Coney Dogs since I’ll be closer to Detroit than Flint.

 Michigan Pasty (Meat Hand Pies)

Cooking Channel | Michigan Pasty
Photo from Cooking Channel | Michigan Pasty

Michigan food features plenty of influences from the English that settled there back in the day. As a result, they have the Michigan Pasty, a meat hand pie, which is similar to the Cornish Pasty.  The Cooking Channel’s recipe for Michigan Pasty features traditional ingredients such as ground beef, rutabaga, carrots and potatoes folded into a pastry crust.

Sweetie-Licious Michigan Apple & Cherry Crisp

Michigan Apples | Sweetie-Licious Michigan Apple & Cherry Crisp
Photo from Michigan Apples | Sweetie-Licious Michigan Apple & Cherry Crisp

I love hard cider and Michigan loves cider…and apples. I didn’t know until researching this post that Michigan is the third largest producer of apples in the US. So not only am I looking forward to trying Michigan hard cider but their apple recipes as well. Especially if they look and sound as delicious as the Sweetie-Licious Michigan Apple & Cherry Crisp recipe from the Sweetie-Licious Bakery Cafe, shared by Michigan Apples.

Fish and Chips

World Fishing Network | Northern Pike Fish & Chips
Photo from World Fishing Network | Northern Pike Fish & Chips

Once again, the strong influence of the British is seen in Michigan’s Fish and Chips, mostly made with fish, like pike or perch, from Lake Michigan. The Hubby and I feel in love with fish and chips in England, so we’re looking forward to trying them again in Michigan. For those at home, try the World Fishing Network’s crispy gluten-free recipe for Northern Pike Fish & Chips recipe.

Grand Rapids Wet Burritos

The Kitchen Wife | Grand Rapids Wet Burrito
Photo from The Kitchen Wife | Grand Rapids Wet Burrito

In Colorado, we call our covered burritos smothered and cover them with red or green chili and cheese; but in Michigan, they call a covered burrito a wet burrito and cover them with enchilada sauce and cheese. Sounds good to me. If you want to try a wet burrito then give The Kitchen Wife’s recipe for Grand Rapids Wet Burritos a try.

Re Re’s Christmas New Bethel Ham

WXYZ Detroit | Aretha Franklin Ham Recipe
Photo from WXYZ Detroit | Aretha Franklin Ham Recipe

Vernors Ginger Ale is said to be the oldest soda in the country and is almost as famous in Michigan as the state’s famous soul singer, Aretha Franklin. The Queen of Soul uses Vernors ginger ale in her ham glaze and shared her recipe called RE Re’s Christmas New Bethel Ham with everyone on LIVE with Kelly and Michael. I’m sorry but I could not find a sexy photo of this ham but you can see the sexy lady herself cooking it up.

Rye Bread

BreadBasketCase | Levy's Real Jewish Rye Bread
Photo from BreadBasketCase | Levy’s Real Jewish Rye Bread

Michigan loves its double baked rye bread. I can’t wait to try it because I love an awesome rye and while I couldn’t find a Michigan-based recipe online, I hope to get my hands on one once I’m there. In the meantime, if you want to make a good rye bread at home, try Rose Levy Beranbaum’s Real Jewish Rye Bread recipe made by the BreadBasketCase.

Honey-Sweetened Cherry Pie

Eating Well | Honey-Sweetened Cherry Pie
Photo from Eating Well | Honey-Sweetened Cherry Pie

Michigan is one of the top producing states for sour cherries. They have sweet ones as well but the sour are best for making the perfect cherry pie. Just don’t forget a scoop of vanilla ice cream to pair with Eating Well’s recipe for Honey-Sweetened Cherry Pie.

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