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.

Advertisements

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.
Entries and comments feeds.

TWENTY-FOUR CARAT

GENUINE INFORMATION ABOUT REAL THINGS

Moosmosis

Exploring an Arts & Sciences Education

The Throwback Chef

vintage recipes tried and shared

Wishing Wells Life

Real Food, Real Creativity, Real Life

Mediterranean Recipes 101

Mediterranean diet is based on the tradtional food that people used to eat in counntries like Italy, Greece, and Spain.

In Dianes Kitchen

Recipes showing step by step directions with pictures and gadget reviews

The World according to Dina

Notes on Seeing, Reading & Writing, Living & Loving in The North

Patriot Mom

Family. Health. Liberty.

Be Unique

Blogging, vlogging and dealing with life

Heathers' Fresh Cooking

Fresh ingredients and great ideas for your table.

Afoodiehousewife

What's cookin' ??

Analiza Gonzales

A blog about cooking, travel, fashion, interior, DIY and family, but mostly cooking

Dians Cooks

A messy kitchen is a sign of happiness

thesimpletimesblog.wordpress.com/

LIVE SIMPLY * LIVE FULLY

The Tiny Potager

Self Sufficiency and Sustainable Living - with a family of six

The Waffle Blog

BECAUSE I JUST CAN'T SEEM TO MAKE UP MY MIND

%d bloggers like this: