A Brief History Of The Michigan Pasty

The flavorful, meat-and-vegetable-filled pasty has been a staple in Michigan's Upper Peninsula (U.P.) for more than 150 years.

A conventional pasty filling includes meat (commonly ground beef or pork) and chopped vegetables such as potatoes, rutabagas, onions, and carrots.

In the U.P., pasties are served with ketchup, but others prefer gravy. What's Cooking America says a 2-pound prepared pasty may satisfy huge appetites. Pasties are a terrific on-the-go supper since they can be eaten without a fork (via Delishably).

Eating a pasty from the top down makes leftovers easy to store for later.

According to The 'Gander, Cornish settlers who came to work in iron and copper mines originated the pasty. Immigrants introduced hand-held pork pies to the mines in the 1840s and decades after.

According to What's Cooking America, it was easy to reheat underground. The miner just needed to hold his pasty above a candle on a shovel.

Intentionally thick pasty crust. What's Cooking America says the miner's dough was hand-crimped.

After eating a pasty, the crust was discarded so the miner wouldn't eat his dirty, perhaps chemical-contaminated hands. Some workers believed leftover crusts fed the mines' ghosts.

The pasty evolved. Cornwall slices veggies, Michigan dices them (via A Healthier Michigan). Pasty is versatile.

According to The 'Gander, Finnish settlers in Michigan switched to carrots. Cooks now add cheese, jalapeos, and even dessert to pasties. Pasties are a traditional, convenient meal.

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