In mLive’s never-ending quest to determine what the best of Michigan is, writer Emily Bingham polled readers as to what Michigan’s state food should be, and after nearly 3000 people weighed in:
In the end, it was the coney dog that was given top spot for the food readers most wanted to represent our great state. This dish is, undoubtedly, linked to Michigan, with specific regional differences (and passionate allegiances) based on whether you’re ordering in Detroit, Flint, Jackson or Kalamazoo. Many readers wrote in to tell us that the type of coney didn’t matter as long as the hot dog itself was a Koegel.
The Detroit Historical Society shares the uniquely Michigan roots of the Coney Dog in their super-awesome Encyclopedia of Detroit:
Many people think that the Coney dog, also called the Coney Island hot dog, got its start on Coney Island, NY where the hot dog was created. In actuality, this popular food got its start in Michigan, although the exact location is still disputed. Three locations in Michigan all claim to be the birthplace of Coney dogs: American Coney Island in Detroit, Lafayette Coney Island in Detroit and Todoroff’s Original Coney Island in Jackson.
In 1917, Gust Keros opened American Coney Island. A few years later Keros’s brother opened Lafayette Coney Island next door. Both of these Detroit Coney Islands are incredibly popular to this day, where there is an on-going argument over which establishment serves the best Coney dog. The dispute has been featured on several food television shows, including Food Wars and Man v. Food.
A Coney dog is a beef hotdog, topped with an all meat, beanless chili, diced white onions, and yellow mustard. A true Coney dog uses made-in-Michigan products.
Amen to that!