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  • bethstephenson123

Ever had a pasty?

First off, 'Pasty' rhymes with 'nasty' NOT Hasty.

This is the second half of one purchased in Michigan's upper peninsula In the town of Munising.

Cornish miners brought them with them when they emigrated to the region. They were traditionally filled with beef, potatoes and other vegetables on one side and a sweet (fruit) filling on the other. They were made with a heavy, crimped crust on one end by which the miners ate their meal. Since the miners' hands would often be contaminated with arsenic, they ate their pasty, holding it by the crust handle and then discarding the part they touched.

Copper and Iron were historically mined in that area of the south shore of Lake Michigan. Those industries were replaced with pine and hardwood logging.

Maybe the pasty samples we bought were not the best, but it didn't have much flavor. This one was stuffed with potatoes, onions and hamburger, but there's no sauce in the pocket at all, so it really needs the ketchup.

You might agree that the pastys are disappointing, but the upper peninsula generally is a BEAUTIFUL region. There's logging, but lots of lovely forests, animal life, fishing, kayaking in the clean, clear waters of the great lake. The picture rock area includes cliffs painted by the seeping minerals to form modern art type of naturally detailed paintings. Some of them are pretty amazing.

Historically, the threats of pirates and storms harried sailors. (This is a pleasure boat made to look awesomely pirate-like, but not authentic.)

Now, tourism is a major industry in the region. The lake is inviting for swimming and kayaking, the beaches are clean and some are comprised of smooth, brilliantly colored pebbles with agates in many colors.

We were there in the height of summer but the weather was mild. The region seems generally undiscovered as a tourist destination and it wasn't crowded. There's tons of fun stuff to do with interesting history, hiking water sports, geology, geography, scenery and even foods. . . although I suggest that you TRY a pasty but don't plan to make a meal of it. Be sure to go for the local fish and chips . . . And the ice-cream.

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