A whole ton of pasty lore, recipes and even a pasty video!
Wandering West Michigan’s Josh Leo took a trip to Houghton where he got the answer to “What is a Pasty?“.The Cultural Context of the Pasty (yes, the pasty is that important) tells of the history of the pasty:
The pasty came to the Upper Peninsula through Cornwall England. When tin mining started going bad in England during the 1800′s the Cornish miners immigrated to America hoping to earn there fortunes in newly developing mines … When the Cornish came to the copper mines of the Upper Peninsula, they brought with them a lot of mining knowledge which the other ethnic groups did not have. The other ethnic groups looked up to the Cornish and wanted to emulate their mining successes. Many Cornish practices were then copied by the other ethnic groups, including the pasty as the standard lunch for miners. The pasty became popular with these other ethnic groups because it was small, portable, was very filling, and could stay warm for 8-10 hours.
This site from Michigan Tech has a number of pasty recipes as well and you can get even more pasty recipes from Tony Wesley. While traditional pasties usually contain potatoes, carrots and meat, you can fill them with pretty much watever you want. My personal favorite filling is black beans, potatoes, onions, salsa and asiago cheese.
If all this sounds like too much trouble, you can always hop over to Pasty.com’s Pasty Central to buy pasties online. Pasty Central is an employee-owned company in Calumet, Michigan that has shipped over 300,000 pasties. They also have great photos and links for the UP.