For example, did you ever hear of a pastie? No, not the uniform item worn by exotic dancers. This pastie is pronounced with a “soft a.” It’s a meat and vegetable pie that is popular in Northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula. It’s kind of like a turnover, only with beef or chicken, etc. The story goes that it became popular with Cornish miners of England. Their wives would cook up this “balanced meal in a crust” and send their men off to work with their lunch wrapped in yesterday’s newspaper. When the immigrants came to the Upper Peninsula to work in the mines, they brought the pastie with them and the rest, as they say, is history.
I enjoy the history behind local food, but probably I like eating the food more. We tried one of these pasties a couple of weeks ago at Hunt’s Mackinaw Pastie & Cookie Company in Mackinaw. This restaurant was featured on the Travel Channel, although I didn’t know that at the time we stopped in. Lucky for us, they were the only restaurant we found open on the afternoon we went to look at the ice under the Mackinac Bridge. Nevertheless, that does not mean we settled. Unlike the picture of pasties in an English bakery here, we Americans smother ours in gravy and have a little coleslaw on the side. Pie crust and beef, covered in gravy, what’s not to love?! No, the beef pastie was tasty and I would highly recommend you give one a try. This can go in my “good stuff” file along with the shoe-fly pie from Adams County, Pennsylvania, the tri-tip roast of Fresno, California, and there will never be another reuben sandwich like in that corner market in Port Townsend, Washington.