Favorite foods are Mich.-made

Be Blissful

It’s almost midnight. and my house it totally quiet. Kids are in bed. The pug has worn herself out and is quietly sleeping on the living room floor. I have not eaten all day — and I am blissfully enjoying a “Mom snack,” something I saved, hidden in the back of the fridge. I didn’t want to share. This was my one cheat on my “no more pop” regimen: Faygo Rock ‘N’ Rye cream soda.

I grew up on this Michigan treat. What flavor is this pop? The secret is closely guarded. Is that cherry? A hint of vanilla? It’s hard to tell exactly what it is — but it is delightful, and it’s my guilty pleasure treat.

As I sit here writing, enjoying my treat pop, I am eating a super late dinner because I fed the kids and figured, “I will eat later when they are squared away.” Tonight “squared away” didn’t happen until bedtime, so here I am eating late, too. (I know, I know – major diet taboo.)

What’s my quick go-to summer dinner? Vollwerth’s hot dogs. They are a fridge staple in the summer time. (Winter too, but you never know when you are going to throw something on the grill!) It’s the only brand that I buy.

I had to chuckle — virtually all of my favorites in the food and drink world are from Michigan.

The coffee I brew in the morning is roasted right in downtown Calumet at Keweenaw Coffee Works.

Feeling ill? Upset stomach, fever, aching body? Drink Vernors!

Want a cold brew on a hot summer day? Keweenaw Brewing Company or Ore Dock, depending on my mood.

Hot meal on a cold, blustery day? A pasty! If I am really on top of things, there are pasties wrapped in my freezer for a quick dinner. (Yes, I made a huge batch this summer!) If not, a quick stop at Toni’s for pasties and frosted molasses cookies makes for an easy dinner.

Are my son and I craving a savory snack? I am picking up fresh Juustoa cheese from U.P. Foods.

American Spoon Foods in Harbor Springs makes a Mango Habanero salsa that you’d simply want to lick the jar when you are done.

Kilwin’s Chocolates (also in Harbor Springs) has some amazing treats that I simply adore, as well as Sayklly’s turtles from my hometown in Escanaba.

Have you had “Orange Stuff” (aka Border Salsa) from Border Grill in Marquette? We have to pick up two tubs when we go because my son and I cannot share.

All of my favorite, can’t-live-without foods and drinks come from my home state. Why is that? Is it the nostalgia? Is it the easy access? Or is it simply the fact that it is truly the best of the best in their respective fields?

Coney Dogs. Mackinaw Island Fudge. Fresh walleye, perch, or lake trout.

For real, I cannot be the only person that drives up to Eagle Harbor to stop at the Jampot and get treats from the Monks.

And I can’t have the only child that would live off of Kellogg’s cereal (if I would let him).

Some of the most noteworthy food and drinks that come from Michigan are staples in our home without us even thinking about it. They are a part of who we are. They are a part of our culture.

Now on this cold and stormy summer night, I have to throw on my Stormy Kromer and go rescue the garbage cans because the bears hauled them out to scavenge them. I’ll enjoy my Vollwerth’s hot dog and Faygo later.

Heather E. French is an English teacher at Lake Linden-Hubbell Middle/High School.

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