Midwestern food is typically hearty and comforting, with much of the region’s cooking influenced by Northern European immigrants who favoured simple, home-style cooking.
So expect to find an All-American twist on stews, soups, sausages, casseroles and pastries. The area is rich in agriculture so residents favour seasonal food and local producers of bread, dairy, meat and cold-climate fruit such as berries and apples.
Join us on a culinary journey as we head across the region to savour the most typical foods from the Midwest.
Beer Cheese Soup
Cheese lovers rejoice, Wisconsin is known as ‘America’s Dairyland’ because it’s one of the nation’s leading dairy producers, particularly famous for it’s cheese and beer soup which combines two of America’s great loves.
In medieval Europe it was served for breakfast, today enjoy a heart-warming bowl at the popular The Old Fashioned, where it it garnished with popcorn.
Watch your head as soft, buttery-sweet bread rolls are literally thrown across the restaurant at Lamberts where diners enjoy as an accompaniment to generous servings of meatloaf, hot beef sandwiches, shrimps and fried catfish.
The Missouri tradition was started in the 70s by Norman Lambert who couldn’t get through the crowd when serving customers, when someone shouted to him “Throw the dang thing!” and with that the “Home of Throwed Rolls” was born. It is now a popular across southern Missouri.
Tater Tot Hotdish
Known as a casserole across America but in Minnesota the mix of ground meat, tinned corn, beans, canned soup and deep fried potato in the form of ‘Tater Tots’, is famously called a hotdish.
Rooted in Scandinavian traditions, the simple but surprisingly tasty dish is a staple at family gatherings, potluck dinners and throughout Minnesota culture.
With big spacious booths, tiled fireplace and an All-American decor, The Mason Jar is the ultimate place to enjoy a modern twist on the Minnesota favourite.
Baberton in Ohio has been given national recognition due to it’s fried chicken, with residents claiming it to be the Chicken Capital of the World.
Also known as Serbian Fried Chicken because of its cultural roots, a traditional Barberton chicken dinner is served with four pieces of fried chicken, cole slaw and hot sauce. Whitehouse Chicken is legendary for it’s homemade hot sauce, which is made with rich tomatoes and capsicum.
Sweet and savoury pastries
In Michigan miners used to carry meat-and-veggie pies in their pockets to work so the crusts had to be thick and sturdy. The cooking method lives on at Crust and Beyond, with crumbed topped, deep-set sweet pies using locally sourced produce.
If you prefer a flaker Danish style pastry, Racine in Wisconsin is heavily influenced by Danish immigrants. OH Danish bakery serves up Kringle, a Danish-style pastry filled with fruits, nuts, cheeses or with an American twist such as red velvet filling.
Head to Cincinnati otherwise known as Queen City or the Chili Capital of America because it has more chili restaurants per capita than any other city in the world.
Famous for its Cincinnati chili, a regional style of chili con carne characterised by the use of seasonings such as cinnamon, cloves, cocoa and allspice. Make like the locals and debate whether you prefer the bowl of mild, meaty sauce served over spaghetti noodles and topped with shredded cheese at Skyline or Gold Star. Or head to Camp Washington Chili for a more authentic experience.
What are your favourite all-American foods? Would you be brave enough to try beer cheese soup?
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