food

A Coney Island hot dog from one of the many American Coney Island restaurants.
Flickr user Eugene Kim / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

 

A recent MLive poll asked readers: What’s Michigan’s state food? Climbing above competitors such as the pasty, the Boston cooler and Superman ice cream, the Coney Island hot dog emerged on top.

The Coney Island hot dog is an key part of Michigan’s food scene, especially in Detroit. But how did it become so popular? And how did it get its name?

Joe Grimm looked to answer that question in a book he co-authored with fellow journalist Katherine Yung, Coney Detroit.

Garden Fresh

You may not know Dave Zilko's name, but you've probably seen his products in your grocery store.  Zilko is the former vice chairman of Garden Fresh Gourmet. He and business partners Jack and Annette Aronson took a scrappy little Oakland County company that was deep in debt and turned it into the number one brand of fresh salsa in North America, with revenues topping $100 million.  Last June, Garden Fresh was sold to Campbell Soup Company for $231 million.

The Coney dog was the winner of MLive’s poll to choose a “state food.”
Flickr user Steven Depolo/Flickr

Michigan has a state fossil, and even a state soil, but not a state food.

MLive writer Emily Bingham discovered that other states have a designated food, and soon set out to find a dish Michiganders can call their own. In a poll for MLive, Bingham offered a list of suggestions to take the title – a few of which surprised readers.

user mytvdinner / Flickr

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say 48 million Americans get sick from eating contaminated food each year. That's one in six people.

One of the big challenges for companies is tracing those food products and getting them off the shelves quickly.

Kaitlin Wowak is an assistant professor of management at the University of Notre Dame Mendoza College of Business. She’s the lead author of a new study in the Journal of Business Logistics. She says a number of factors determine how difficult it is to recall a food product quickly.

Labels on nutrition labels will look a lot different over the next two years
U.S. Department of Agriculture / Flickr - http://bit.ly/1rFrzRK

The Food and Drug Administration is changing the design of the nutritional labels on the food you buy. To give us an idea of what changes, why the changes, and when we’ll see the changes is Laura Bix, a Packaging professor at Michigan State University

Among the changes, the new design is expected to make calorie and serving sizes more prominent and easier to find. Also, serving sizes are being adjusted to be more realistic to how people typically eat.

Curly fries and a burger
flickr user ebruli / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Fast food has dramatically changed our food landscape.

Unlike our parents or grandparents, we don't have to plan too far ahead to figure out what's for dinner tonight.

But the greater variety and convenience of ready-to-eat meals hasn't made finding good food easier for everyone.

Lester Graham

Dearborn has become a flashpoint for many people in America. Anti-Islam protestors carrying weapons have rallied in the city. The Arab American National Museum has responded by inviting people to better understand the city through food. Lester Graham recently joined a group going on a food tour called “Yalla Eat!

A Michigan man suspected of spraying a contaminant on unpackaged food at grocery stores faces four charges of poisoning food, according to the Associated Press.  

Kyle Bessemer appeared in an Ann Arbor court Thursday, two days after his arrest.

The FBI says Bessemer admitted to spraying a mixture of hand sanitizer, water, and mouse poison on produce and food bars at three Ann Arbor stores: Whole Foods, Meijer and Plum Market. The charges cover two stores.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/cogdog/9090732482

The Next Idea

Every year, the United States spends $218 billion growing, transporting, and processing food that no one ever eats. That's billion. The financial, resource, and environmental costs of all the wasted food in the United States is staggering. 

Students from the Detroit Food Academy.
Jen Rusciano / Detroit Food Academy

It started with mangos on a stick.

In the spring of 2011, kids at a high school in southwest Detroit were challenged to use their entrepreneurial spirit to come up with a creative way to get their classmates to eat some fruits and vegetables.

After more than 300 mangos were sold, the groundwork for the Detroit Food Academy (DFA) was laid.

Steph Harding / Steph Harding Photo

There's a difference between making your business the best in the world and making it the best for the world.

Recognizing that difference is what has earned the Grand Rapids-based Essence Restaurant Group a B Corp certification.

This certification is what USDA Organic is to milk, or Fair Trade is to coffee. The designation goes to companies that show a commitment to sustainability and positive social impact in their communities. 

The Essence Restaurant Group has become the very first restaurant group in the country to earn the B Corp certification.

Chef James Rigato
Joe Vaughn

Anyone in the restaurant business or any regular viewer of Top Chef can tell you that it doesn’t get much bigger than winning a James Beard Foundation Award. College football has the Heisman Trophy, Hollywood has the Oscars, but for chefs, just getting a nomination for a James Beard Award can make a career.

Paula Friedrich / Michigan Radio

When you’re driving into Lexington, Michigan on M-25, you pass this house with a teeny wooden sign out front: “Mary’s Pie Shop: Ho’Made.” No store front, just a house. I loved it as soon as I saw it.

“That’s so cute,” I said to Daniel, my friend whose family has a cottage down the road.  

“Have you been there? Who’s Mary?”

“She's so cool! But I think she’s retired,” he said. “They sell her DVD in the general store. It costs $100.”

It’s true. It does. It’s totally real.

food, leftovers
Kathleen Franklin/flickr / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

The Great Depression really marked the golden age of leftovers.

They were meant to be slipped into a pot pie, suspended in a jello ring, buried in a casserole or a meatloaf.

There's a lot to be learned from studying Americans' relationships with leftovers.

Today on Stateside:

  • This week there was some optimism that the state Senate might pass a road funding plan, but it didn’t happen. Rick Pluta, co-host of It’s Just Politics and Daniel Howes, business columnist at the Detroit News, joined us to talk roads.

Paula Friedrich / Michigan Radio

Rewind a few thousand years to a time before grocery stores existed. You would have gotten a lot of your food by finding it out in the wild.

Foraging is no longer a necessary skill … but some people like to do it as a hobby. Rachel Mifsud is one of those people. 

Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

Michigan's local food movement is growing and thriving. We're seeing more chefs who deeply care about what they buy and from whom.

Chefs like James Rigato of the Root, a locavore restaurant in White Lake Township.

Writer Michael Jackman of the Metro Times recently analyzed a meal prepared by Chef Rigato and traced nearly 100% of its ingredients to Michigan producers. His just-released story in the Metro Times is billed as "a grand tour of Michigan's local food movement."

The meal consisted of a Charcuterie platter with meat, cheese, fish and vegetables from the region.

Historical Society of Greater Lansing

When the Historical Society of Greater Lansing hosted an oral history with the owner of Lansing's longstanding Jim's Tiffany restaurant, more than 80 people showed up to listen.

Anders Adermark / Flickr http://ow.ly/OE5HR

Popping the cork on a bottle of Champagne can make an occasion extra-special.

The reputation of real Champagne comes largely from the industry standard that requires the Champagne to be very consistent from one year to the next – unlike ordinary red and white wines, which can be very different from year to year.

Making Champagne at the big houses of famous names comes down to two or three sets of taste buds in the heads of the wine team.

Of the 662 Michigan schools that qualify for the Community Eligibility Provision, 167 would no longer be eligible under HR 5003, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
Tim Lauer / Creative Commons

Michigan is getting $5.5 million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to help feed kids this summer.

The grant will fund a pilot program that lets families use electronic benefits cards to purchase healthy food in their communities.

Kyle Guerrant with the Michigan Department of Education said one in five children in the state  doesn't have enough to eat.

"Approximately 50% of a student's calories are received in the school environment," he said. "We know that need is still there in the summertime for many of  our students and families."

Buckets of Rain / Facebook

Chris Skellenger likes to say he's gone from ornamental to survival horticulture. That's because he used to run a landscape company and nursery near his home in Empire on the Leelenau Peninsula, but these days he drives each week to Highland Park where he tends an urban farm that produces fresh food for people whose nearest food source might just be a gas station or convenience store.

Stephanie Baker (left photo)

Maureen Abood left her big-city job in Chicago to follow her heart to culinary school.

After training in San Francisco, Abood came back home to Michigan and has dedicated her life to cooking and writing about Lebanese food.

ipad using point of sale application
Flickr user Nicolas Nova / Flickr

Technology invades the restaurant dining experience. No, not diners posting photos of their food to Facebook or Instagram, but restaurants in Michigan are replacing their old-school paper menus with iPads.

Chief wine and restaurant critic for Hour Detroit Magazine Chris Cook says, "I haven't seen too many around Southeast Michigan, but I think it's going to become a growing trend."

Mercedes Mejia

While best known for her self-portraits portraying death and dark subjects, Frida Kahlo also had a love for life, and she loved to cook.

The Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo in Detroit exhibit will open at The Detroit Institute of the Arts this month. In the same spirit, three Detroit-area chefs are paying tribute to the renowned Mexican artists. They’re guided by a book written by Guadalupe Rivera, Diego Rivera’s daughter, called Frida’s Fiestas: Recipes and Reminiscences of Life with Frida Kahlo.

Chez Chloe

Detroit-made mini lava cakes will soon be featured on Air France flights starting March 1.

Parisian-born Chloe Sabatier is the owner of Chez Chloe in Detroit where she specializes in traditional French lava cakes. She was stunned to learn her cakes would be on-board flights Air France flights from Detroit to Paris.

Executive Chef James Rigato at work at The Root
David Lewinski

In a few short years, executive chef James Rigato of The Root in White Lake has made huge waves in the Michigan culinary scene. In 2012, during its very first year of business, The Root won the prestigious "Restaurant of the Year" award from the Detroit Free Press. Since then, Rigato has continued to earn recognition for his work, winning local accolades and competing on the Food Network's show Top Chef.

Epic Fireworks / Flickr

Today is the first day of the Chinese New Year. There are celebrations happening worldwide, and here in Michigan to welcome the lunar New Year and bid farewell to the old.

The Chinese New Year is based off the lunar calendar.

mconnors / MorgueFile

Walk the aisles of any wine shop or grocery store, and check out the wines crowding the shelves.

Chances are, most of the offerings come from the U.S., France, Italy, and Australia. 

But Hour Detroit Magazine's chief wine and restaurant critic, Chris Cook, says don't ignore the wines being produced in Spain.

Traverse city vineyard
Flickr user Rachel Kramer / Flickr

The Traverse City area is emerging as Michigan's new "foodie empire." Chris Cook, chief wine and restaurant critic for Hour Detroit Magazine, tells us just which area restaurants are worth a visit.

Peggy Wolff

The smell of freshly baked bread can trigger memories of home, especially around the holiday season.

Peggy Wolff is the author of Fried Walleye and Cherry Pie: Midwestern Writers on Food. She’s part of a project called "Little Big Books.” 

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