Root Cellar

Representative list of foods associated with Great Lakes Cuisine


Farm-raised meats – Beef, pork, chicken, turkey, duck, pheasant, elk, deer, rabbit

Wild-hunted game – Deer, turkey, duck, various woodland birds

Common techniques – Sausage-making, slow roasting lesser cuts (often with aromatics and other liquids added), smoking, grilling, and other preservation methods


Traditional Great Lakes fish – Sturgeon, whitefish, lake trout

Contemporary Great Lakes fish – Several varieties of salmon, rainbow trout

Other fresh lake fish – Walleye, Perch, Bass, several varieties of sunfish (panfish), Northern Pike

Note: Due to industrial contamination in the early and mid-1900’s,  Great Lakes fish can contain levels of mercury and PCBs that can be harmful as they accumulate in the body.  Active programs are in place to diminish these levels, but many states still issue eating guidelines with recommended frequency of consumption. Michigan’s can viewed here.

Common techniques – Battered and fried, stuffed and roasted, smoked, pickled


Native – Corn, squash, pumpkins, beans, and Jerusalem artichokes

Immigrant introduced – Cabbage (red, green, savoy), beets, potato, asparagus (green and white), radish, kohlrabi, rutabaga

Common techniques – Fresh, roasted, grilled, boiled and pureed, pickled


Tree Fruits – Apples, pears, plums, sour cherry, pawpaw

Berries – Cranberry, blueberry, blackberry, black raspberry, red mulberry

Other – Rhubarb

Common techniques – Fresh, baked (often in pastries or pies), sauces, jams, preserves, “butters”, juice


Honey, Maple Syrup


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