Sorry Michigan: The Pasty Didn’t Actually Originate in the Upper Peninsula
What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Michigan's beautiful Upper Peninsula? Although the UP is synonymous with delicious, mouth-watering pasties, the tasty meat pies did not originate here in Michigan.
SEE ALSO: The Yellow Traffic Light Was Invented Right Here in Michigan
What is a Pasty?
Oh, if you have to ask, you're missing out. I've already laid it on pretty thick, referring to the food as delicious, mouth-watering, and tasty in just the first paragraph. (Sure, I admit that I may be a bit biased because I was born here and have lived in Michigan all my life.)
Traditionally, pasties consist of a filling made from meat, sliced or diced potatoes, onion, rutabaga (do not omit the rutabaga), and sometimes other vegetables on a circular crust. The crust is folded over and crimped and then baked until it's golden brown.
Ketchup or Gravy?
Oh, hell no - I'm not putting myself into the middle of that argument. There are two schools of thought on the proper pasty condiment, usually creating a rift between those who favor one or the other on their pasties. It's anecdotal, but I've found that Yoopers seem to prefer ketchup while those of us who are trolls tend to be gravy fans.
I'll take the easy way out, and say that both are good complements to pasties, just not at the same time.
Where Did the Pasty Come From?
Contrary to popular belief, the pasty did not originate in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.
Pasties' roots have been traced all the way back to 1150, originating in Cornwall, located in Southwest England. According to A Healthier Michigan, Cornish miners immigrated here in the 19th century.
Cornish pasties served as excellent lunches for tin miners to take to work. Housewives would make a pasty for each member of the household and mark each worker's initials in the dough. Miners heated their lunches by placing pasties on a shovel and burning a candle underneath. Unfortunately, miners threw away the thick crust at the end to avoid being poisoned by the dust on their fingers.
Pasties All Over the World
According to The Guardian, the Cornish mining industry collapsed in the mid-1800s. Migrating miners carried the tasty meat pies to many parts of the world including Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and Canada.