United States Midwest Region Cuisine

December 1, 2011 at 1:20 PM | Posted in baking, BBQ, BEEF, Food, pizza | Leave a comment

Midwestern cuisine is a regional cuisine of the American Midwest. It draws its culinary roots most significantly from the cuisines of

Pork tenderloin sandwich as served in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Central, Northern and Eastern Europe, and is influenced by regionally and locally grown foodstuffs and cultural diversity.

Everyday Midwestern home cooking generally showcases simple and hearty dishes that make use of the abundance of locally grown foods. Its culinary profiles may seem synonymous with “American food.” Quoted in a 2007 interview with the Daily Herald, Chef Stephen Langlois, a pioneer in the Midwestern local food movement, described it: “Think of Thanksgiving dinner. Turkey and cranberry sauce and wild rice and apple pie.”

In its urban centers, however, the Midwest’s restaurants offer a diverse mix of ethnic cuisines as well as sophisticated, contemporary techniques.

Sometimes called “the breadbasket of America,” the Midwest serves as a center for grain production, particularly wheat, corn and soybeans. Midwestern states also produce most of the country’s wild rice.

Beef and pork processing always have been important Midwestern industries, with a strong role in regional diets. Chicago and Kansas City were historically stockyard and processing centers of the beef trade, while Iowa remains the center of pork production

A Reuben sandwich

in the U.S.

Far from the oceans, Midwesterners traditionally ate little seafood, relying on local freshwater fish, such as perch and trout, supplemented by canned tuna and canned or cured salmon and herring, although modern air shipping of ocean seafood has been increasing Midwesterners’ taste for ocean fish.

Dairy products, especially cheese, form an important group of regional ingredients, with Wisconsin known as “America’s Dairyland,” although other Midwest states make cheese as well.

The upper Midwest, a prime fruit-growing region, sees the extensive use of apples, blueberries, cranberries, cherries, peaches and other cold-climate fruit in its cuisine.

As with many American regional cuisines, Midwestern cooking has been heavily influenced by immigrant groups. Throughout the northern Midwest, northern European immigrant groups predominated, so

Chicago-style deep dish pizza

Swedish pancakes and Polish pierogi are common. Wisconsin, Missouri, Kansas, Ohio and Illinois were destinations for many ethnic German immigrants, so pork sausages and potatoes are prevalent. In the Rust Belt, many Greeks became restaurateurs, imparting a Mediterranean influence. Native American influences show up in the uses of corn and wild rice.

Traditionally, Midwestern cooks used a light hand with seasonings, preferring sage, dill, caraway, mustard and parsley to hot, bold and spicy flavors. However, with new waves of immigrants from Latin America and Asia moving into the region, these tastes are changing.

This section of the country is also headquarters for several seminal hamburger chains, including McDonald’s in Oak Brook, Illinois (founded in California, but turned into the iconic franchise by Ray Kroc beginning with a still-standing store in Des Plaines, Illinois). The Midwest is also home to Hardee’s in St. Louis, Missouri, Culver’s in Sauk City, Wisconsin; Steak n Shake, founded in Normal, Illinois, and now based in Indianapolis; Wendy’s in Dublin, Ohio; and White Castle founded in Wichita, Kansas, and now based in Columbus, Ohio. Diner chain Big Boy, known for burgers, is headquartered in Warren, Michigan.

About these ads

Leave a Comment »

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com. | The Pool Theme.
Entries and comments feeds.

WordPress.com News

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.

Uncooked White Rice

Culinary Exploration Blog

Bite into Nutrition

All about food, nutrition, and healthy living topics

My life and meals

Cooking, crafting, living

We are what we eat

We are what we eat so let's be tasty and sexy

Cooking with a Wallflower

Cooking. Baking. Crafting. Writing.

Officially Gluten Free

Have your cake and eat it too, without feeling sick.

Ladies Bulletin

Beautiful ladies make beautiful families

Cooking without Limits

Food Photography & Recipes

A Palatable Pastime

Let's have fun with food!

Stacey's Gourmet Kitchen

Turning Gourmet into Everyday

DM Du Jour

Food | Love | Travel

Foodie Mama Talks

A blog about eating healthy and living well

cateritforward

I'm just a hack who likes to eat.

sockmonkeyskitchen

Foodie turned blogger. How'd that happen?

The Lazy Suzan

"I think careful cooking is love, don't you?" ~J.C.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 774 other followers

%d bloggers like this: