- Where to Go
- The Best of Milwaukee and Madison
- The Best Wisconsin Weekends
- A Perfect Week in Door County
- Wisconsin for Recreationists
- Rustic Road Tripping
- Made in Milwaukee
- Madison Weekend
- Sports: The Packers and Beyond
- Out on the Town in Milwaukee
- Say Cheese!
- Four Days in the Mad City
- A Wisconsin Family Road Trip
- Wisconsin’s Best Brews
Midwestern cuisine. An oxymoron? Hardly. Banish those visions of tuna casserole dancing in your head. Midwestern cuisine—real, original fare handed down generationally—is more eclectic and more representative of “American” heritage than better-known, better-marketed cooking styles.
If you search out the latent Americana in Wisconsin cooking, you’ll be amazed. Wisconsin’s best cooking is a thoughtful mélange of ethnicities, stemming from the diverse populace and prairie-cooking fare that reflects a heritage of living off the land. Midwest regional cuisine is a blend of originally wild food such as cranberries, wild rice, pumpkins, blueberries, whitefish livers, catfish cheeks, and morel mushrooms incorporated into standard old country recipes. Added to the mix are game animals, such as deer, pheasant, and goose. Many Midwesterners simply shoot their own, rather than raising them or buying them from a grocery wholesaler. It’s a home-based culinary style, perfected from house to house through generations of adaptation.
And while the state features a panorama of European fare, the rest of the culinary spectrum is also represented. Milwaukee’s got real-deal soul food and a fantastic array of Puerto Rican and Mexican restaurants, and in Madison you’ll find Asian eateries rivaling any city’s. In short, despite the preponderance of hot beef and meat loaf, it’s quite possible to find good imaginative food in Wisconsin.
Wisconsin is well represented foodwise on the Web. Surprised? www.SavorWisconsin.com is a wonderful compendium (run by the state government) of information on local agricultural producers, food events, and more. Others of note: www.WisconsinCooks.org, www.chew.wisconsincooks.org, www.WisconsinMade.com, and even www.SlowFoodWisconsin.org. My grandmother could have written the recipes at www.bratwurstpages.com!
© Thomas Huhti from Moon Wisconsin, 5th Edition