I'll admit, I'm a transplant of nearly two years here in Michigan and there are a few things I knew about before moving here.

I was aware that everyone loves their regional "pop" up here. (Yes, I'm from the land of soda, not pop, so it's been hard to adjust)

Canva / Amazon
Canva / Amazon

But outside of Faygo and Vernor's, there is one thing that Michiganders uniquely enjoy that the rest of the country could really get behind, and that's what I've dubbed to my co-workers as a meat Poptart: Pastys.

Homemade Upper MIchigan Pasty Meat Pie with Ketchup

I'd never heard of a pasty before moving to Michigan, but my co-workers are pretty passionate about them, so I decided to dig in and learn more.

While the pasty may have originated in England, Michigan (specifically the Upper Peninsula) has really grabbed onto this quick meat treat and made it their own.

And we try to own it so much, we're willing to go to court over it. In fact, In 2001, Albie's Food, Inc. of Gaylord, Michigan was sent a cease and desist letter from The J.M. Smucker Company for infringing on their copyright of the "crustless sandwich" (aka Uncrustables) to try to stop us from making our own.

Cornish Pasty
Getty Images/iStockphoto

Michiganders won however when Albie's took the case to federal court, saying that a pocket sandwich with crimped edges and no crust was called a "pasty" and had been a popular dish in northern Michigan since the nineteenth century.

Laura Hardy / Michigan Secretary of State
Michigan Secretary of State

And, Michigan truly gets to own their love of pastys because we are now the home of the one and only Pasty Olympics, which kicked off earlier this year in Calumet.

Courtesy of Main Street Calumet
Courtesy of Main Street Calumet

The "games" include a Pasty pull, relay race, and art competition for Michiganders to share and show their love for the iconic treat.

So go ahead, make one at home or pick one up at the store, but be proud to know that this Michigan-centric dish is one of the iconic things that makes the mitten the special place that it is.

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