Michigan Flag Michigan Food Culture and Recipes

State Did You Know?

  • Agricultural College of the State of Michigan, founded in 1855, was the first college in the United States to teach scientific agriculture. It went through a series of name changes before becoming Michigan State University in 1964.
  • From April through November, there is some type of fresh produce available in Michigan, providing for one of the longest seasons for fresh local produce in the United States. Residents take advantage of the state’s produce at its more than 300 farmers markets.
  • Michigan is number one in the country for producing tart cherries, pickling cucumbers, squash, Niagara grapes, and potatoes used to make potato chips, as well as dry black beans, dry cranberry beans, and small red beans.
  • Michigan egg farmers supply eggs to nearly all the McDonald’s restaurants east of the Mississippi River.
  • Michigan’s dairy farmers produce enough milk to supply the entire state, therefore, milk in Michigan is always local.
  • Green Meadow Farms in Elsie is home to one of the world’s largest registered Holstein cow herds, second only to a dairy farm in California.
  • The ice cream flavor known as Superman is said to have been invented by Stroh’s Ice Cream in Detroit.
  • Battle Creek is called the Cereal Capital of the World because two of the country’s largest cereal producers, Post and Kellogg’s, were founded there. Post has been making commercial breakfast cereal since 1895, and the Kellogg Company started in 1906.
  • Vernors—a popular brand of ginger ale and the oldest continually produced soda pop in the country—was created in 1862 by Detroit pharmacist James Vernor. He stored his first batch of the pop in an oak barrel while he served in the Civil War, and when he returned four years later, he found the aging process had produced a milder flavor while allowing the beverage to retain its gingery potency. He started selling the pop in 1866, eventually bottling it 30 years later. Another brand of pop originating in Detroit is Faygo, which was founded in 1907. Both brands remain popular in the Midwest.   
  • Eastern Market, located on 24 acres in Detroit, has been providing fresh produce and food for more than 170 years, making it the largest and oldest market of its kind.
  • The arrival of Lent is marked with Paczki Day. The city of Hamtramck celebrates an annual Paczki Day devoted to this Polish version of a jelly doughnut.
  • Michigan loves Coney Island hot dogs, with unique styles associated with and named for cities such as Detroit, Flint, Kalamazoo, and Jackson.

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