Michigan’s Agricultural abundance has influenced a variety of food associated with the state, but the big question is always, “What food is Michigan known for?”
The cereal nation has supplied the world with plenty of food and is a leading state in the USA for food production.
When visiting Michigan, you’ll not miss a favorite food that has been there with the natives and more cuisines introduced by the settlers in the 17th century. The top culinary roots are from Central, North, and Eastern Europe.
So, What Food Is Michigan Known For?
Michigan is known for various foods, but the most common include the Coney Island Hot Dogs, Mackinac Island fudge, and Cornish Pasties.
They were all primarily brought into the state by the settlers and immigrants. Other popular foods that you’ll find in Michigan are Tart cherries, Packzi, and Superman Ice Cream.
Let’s look in to learn about the famous foods in Michigan.
The 10 Unique Foods In Michigan
Every town in Michigan has something to offer, and the food is among the top priorities with locals and visitors.
While in Michigan, you’ll come across foods, fruits, and other eatables that have been around from the native ages to the ones that were introduced to the region.
Below are some of the top Michigan foods that you need to try.
1. Mackinac Island fudge
Among the most loved foods in Michigan is the Mackinac Island fudge. It is famous with tourists, prompting the locals to nickname the visitors as fudges. The sweet treat continues to assert its presence as more people flock to Mackinac to taste the delicacy.
You probably wonder how the Mackinac Island fudge became this famous, right? The food dates back to 100 years ago when entrepreneurs in Mackinac island realized the need to turn the town from a fur trade zone into a tourist attraction destination.
The land began to be identified by sweet things like the maple sugar that natives harvested. Fudge afterward followed as the idea to make sweet things for the visitors became famous.
In the 1880s, the Murdick family settled at Mackinac Island and had its first candy-making shop in operation.
The owners made sweets before their visitors, showing them the whole process. Later, Rome Murdick made fudge on flavorful marble slabs, attracting many customers.
Other restaurant owners learned how to make fudge, which later became famous in the town. Currently, over ten fudge shops exist in the town with high sugar importation, revealing that the demand for fudge is escalating.
In Mackinac, there is a National Fudge Day celebrated in June. Therefore, when you visit the place, ensure you grab the sweet delicacy.
2. Coney Island Hot Dogs
Another famous food you’ll find almost everywhere in Michigan is the Coney Island Hot Dogs. The hot dogs initially started in Detroit. It is believed to have been brought by the Macedonians and Greeks who moved there.
The recipe was a beef hot dog topped with meat chili, yellow mustard, and diced onions. The beauties are now the staple of Michigan, with people often consuming them in large quantities during summer.
The sauces have two styles, with the chili-style brown sauce lacking beans and the drier, meatier, looser type known as coney. Regardless of the style, they all get topped with onions and mustard with a flavor.
3. Northern Michigan – Whitefish
Michigan’s freshwater has the types of fish that make the best meals. The Whitefish is popular in many Midwest states and has become famous in all corners of Michigan. The fish is easy to find thanks to the presence of Lake Michigan.
The Whitefish in the Great Lake regions mature fast and can live for about 25 years. A fish will reach up to 20 pounds.
If you visit most restaurants in Michigan, you’ll have the taste of Whitefish and it is often available on dinner menus. Whether you want the deep-fried or pan-fried options, you’ll get your request served.
4. Detroit-Style Pizza
Pizza is common across the globe and one of the most loved foods. Different cities will come with their style of pizza, and at one point, you’ll come across your favorite Pizza. Pizza can be rectangular or circular, with thick Wisconsin cheese as the topping.
Why is Michigan Pizza special? The internal sponginess and the external crunchiness make it very delicious. In addition, the Detroit-style pizza has cheese and sauce. The tomato-based sauce makes the pizza unique; each bite’s crunchiness leaves a taste.
The pizza’s hydration level is higher than others, making it easy to chew. With the variety of toppings, this is a pizza you must taste in Michigan.
5. Traverse City Cherries
Michigan City cherries have long been the favorite for locals and visitors. A bite into its tartness will make you fall for the cherries.
The golden appearance defines the cherries. You’ll find bright red cherries on the market from July through August.
The locals have made the cherries a crucial part of the culture and hence celebrate them during the National Cherry Festival that happens in July.
The cherries are grown in Grand Traverse since the climate and well-drained sandy soils support its cultivation.
6. Frankenmuth Chicken
If you need to feed your hunger and satisfy your taste buds, the Frankenmuth Chicken is a must-try. The chicken is famous in most restaurants in Michigan town, led by Frankenmuth. The Frankenmuth Chicken has a vast following.
The chicken is coated by an egg wash, flour, and cracker meal and then cooked in a fryer. You get a tender and juicy outcome.
Different restaurants have their touch of this chicken, but famous places where you’ll have a bite are Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth and the Bavarian Inn Restaurant.
Polish foods are tasty, and you’ll always find the Pączkis in Michigan. The food originated from Poland, and it looks like a donut.
It is stuffed with sweet jellies and deep-fried. Afterward, it gets covered with icing sugar and dried orange zest.
Pączkis is usually eaten during the Fat Tuesday celebrations. In most cases, the donut is flavored with vanilla. You can enjoy the sweet Pączkis throughout the year. The food is everywhere; you’ll find it in Michigan supermarkets and bakeries.
8. West Michigan – Olive burger
Olive burger is a West Michigan delicacy that has gained popularity among aficionados. To make the olive burger, you need chopped olives, then spread them on a grilled burger.
You may still mix the olive brine into your burger before the grilling process to add a unique flavor. The olive burger is not only limited to a single type of olive but you can try with varieties to get your taste.
In Michigan, the olive burgers are in restaurants and shops where you can buy and enjoy the favor.
9. Better Made Potato Chips
Potato chips are popular, and everyone loves them. It is unusual to come across potato chips as they are accompaniments for other common delicacies.
Even though potato chips are everywhere, if you ask Michiganders, they always let you know that nothing compares to the better made.
You’ll find the chips in groceries and stores, and those who go to school and work have them already packed. The food comes from Michigan-grown potatoes, and in seasons when potatoes are not sufficient to meet the demand, imported potatoes are used.
The thin slices of potatoes are fried until golden brown. They are then slightly salted to make them the go-to snacks.
10. Double-Baked Rye Bread
The Jews migrated to Michigan, and they didn’t forget to bring the best food with them. In the 19th century, Detroit and Ann Arbor received Jewish immigrants, and that’s how the rye bread found its way into Michigan.
A former army cook named Jack Goldberg had a deli in a Detroit suburb, and since he had customers who loved bread, he could order the bread miles away, and sadly, his cuties arrived late when the bread was already cold.
He instead asked the suppliers to deliver the bread halfway baked so that he could accomplish the baking by himself and serve the customers warm bread. He served the thick rye bread with corned beef. Later, others began to adapt to the double-baked rye bread.
You probably have the answers to your question: what food is Michigan known for? We’ve shared more than one food that Michigan is famous for to help you understand the history of the delicacy and why it is famous in different towns of Michigan.
The top famous foods are the Coney Island Hot Dogs and Mackinac Island fudge and you’ll find them in many places in Michigan. Besides the two, you can still explore the list above to learn about the extra delicacies that rule Michigan.
Ready to try any of the Michigan foods? Visit the towns in Michigan and pick from the variety of Michigan delicacies.