'Midwest' on Serious Eats

Video: Sky Full of Bacon Explores the Midwestern Land of Whitefish

We are big fans of Michael Gebert's Sky Full of Bacon video podcast series, even when they don't involve bacon. In this one, he investigates whitefish—what's usually deep-fried for fish and chips or smoked for deli bagel sandwiches. Gebert chats with 92-year-old Robert Schuffler of Robert's Fish Market in Chicago, a man who's digested his fair share of whitefish (even for breakfast) and is still going strong. Gebert then adventures out to the Lake Michigan waters with a family behind a fifth-generation Wisconsin fishery. When it's fresh, whitefish should smell like cucumber. The video, after the jump.... More

Video: A Tribute to Superman Ice Cream

On the kiddie ice cream totem pole, the Superman flavor is pretty high up there, somewhere near bubblegum and cookie dough. But the poor squirts who don't live in or near Michigan probably haven't experienced the red-blue-yellow trio of creamy goodness. Our recent Superman ice cream post inspired Quinn of the Michigan culture blog The Mitten to cruise around the Ann Arbor-area and get to the bottom of this dessert enigma. What's the Michigan connection? Where exactly does the "blue" flavor come from? According to Jim and Forrest Karnopp of Cafe Luwak in Ypsilanti, Michigan, Detroit-based Stroh Brewery stopped making beer during prohibition and segued to ice cream, bringing Superman ice cream into this world. But to this day,... More

What Is Superman Ice Cream?

Photograph from jamelah on Flickr Superman ice cream is a Michigan thing involving three flavors (in shades of blue, red, and yellow—your standard Superman colors) working together, sort of like Neapolitan. So is it just vanilla ice cream with buckets of food coloring? Apparently no, at least not in the case of the blue flavor. Blue Moon, another Michigan (or maybe more Midwestern in general) thing—and not beer in this context— is a super sweet Smurf-colored flavor that apparently "just tastes like blue." Some guesstimate that the yellow is vanilla (others have said banana, but they have little support) and that red is cherry, raspberry, strawberry, or another generic sweet-ish red fruit. It sounds like a bubble gum ice... More

On the Road Again: The Waffle House of America

Whether I’m pursuing goat eyeball tacos or iconoclastic farmers, my brain, nose, and palate are trained to dig out the obscure or novel. It seems I’m always on the hunt for the story about a former Wiccan high priestess CIA agent who chucked it all and became a sushi chef. What’s been there everyday just seems to fade into the background. For example, because most of my family still resides in southeastern Michigan, I’ve been driving the stretch of I-94 between Chicago and Detroit almost every month for more than seven years. With its ubiquitous orange construction barrels, or, as we call them, Michigan flowers, and because of lobbying of Hoffaesque union folk for continued work, some part of I-94... More

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