5 foods unique to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula

You can’t be a Yooper without having any of this cuisine!

The pastie is arguably the signature food of Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Photo by Keith Dunlap (GMG)

Summertime treks up to Northern Michigan often include trips across the Mackinac Bridge to the Upper Peninsula, and that means experiencing foods that are unique to that region.

So, what exactly can a traveler get in the U.P. that’s less common in Lower Peninsula, or other parts of the state? Here are five examples, according to uptravel.com.

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1. Pasties

Brought over from the United Kingdom in the 1800s by miners who came to the UP for a copper boom, pasties (pronounced PAST-EE, not PASTE-EE) have a doughy outside and are filled inside with meat, potatoes and vegetables.

They were easy to eat in the mines because they could stay warm for hours, be eaten by hand, reheated over candles of course, were filling!

Pastie places are all over the UP, but the most recognizable for tourists is Lehto’s in St. Ignace.

2. Thimbleberries

Those who love jams and jellies are in paradise in the UP given how common these berries are. Thimbleberries are similar to currants and raspberries with a tart flavor.

3. Whitefish

Bordered by three of the largest bodies of freshwater in the world, there are few better regions on the planet where whitefish is as accessible and fresh. Many restaurants bake, broil or pan-fry the fish.

4. Cudighi

This is a spicy Italian sausage that some say was created in Ispheming, not Italy. Regardless of the origin, it’s a unique and popular food for Yoopers.

5. Trenary Toast

A coffee bread from Sweden but perfected by bakers in the UP, this comes in flavors such as plain, cinnamon, vanilla or cardamon. The best part is that Trenary Toast usuallly can be good for a year.

About the Author

Keith is a member of Graham Media Group's Digital Content Team, which produces content for all the company's news websites.

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