Calling Something a ‘Pasty’ Doesn’t Make It One [Opinion]
I'm about to go full-blown Yooper. I grew up in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. I consider myself a pasty connoisseur. Recently, I've seen a few things pop up around social media that have infuriated me. Why? Because just because you call something a pasty, that doesn't actually make it a pasty.
The traditional Michigan pasty, as we know it, contains very few things: ground beef, ground pork, potatoes, carrots, rutabaga, onion (if you're into that kind of thing), salt, pepper, and a crust. That's it. There's no fancy seasonings or spices. It just is what it is.
There's an entirely different debate about what you should dip your pasty in (ketchup or gravy. Personally, I'm team gravy.)
So, I became a little bit irritated today when I saw two different posts in a Facebook group that I belong to full of Yoopers. One was a recipe for a "Michigan Bean & Potato Pasty". Beans don't belong in pasties. Kidney beans especially do not belong in pasties. If you want to call it a pasty, whatever, but don't you dare include the word "Michigan" in your description. That's false. And blasphemous. (Also, if you use store-bought pie crust like this recipe suggested, you're cheating yourself and your family and lying to God.)
The second post was a picture of a menu. It was for the Cornish Pasty Co., which has several locations in Arizona and one in Las Vegas. The menu starts out fine. Their traditional pasty, which they call "The Oggie" consists of steak, potato, onion, and rutabaga. They left out the potatoes and used steak instead of ground beef/pork, but we'll let that one slide, I guess. But, as you move down the list of offerings, they become less and less pasty-like the further you go. Two of the items on their "signature pasties" menu are "The Italian" and "Meatball" - these are calzones. Not pasties.
There's also a "Mexican" pasty? After I read the ingredients, I came to a quick conclusion - it's a burrito.
While I applaud their effort - I would go ahead and say that 99% of the items on their "pasty" menu are actually calzones, or pot pies - not pasties.
Anyway, that was my long way of saying this - calling something a "pasty" doesn't automatically make it one. And if you want to make or try a traditional pasty, you're going to have to talk to a Yooper and get their recipe or visit Michigan's beautiful Upper Peninsula.