Pasties: The Meaty Center Of 'Yooper' Food The meat turnovers were brought to Michigan's Upper Peninsula by immigrant miners from Cornwall, England. "Yoopers" — the local population — are very opinionated about them. A pasty isn't just a meal — it's a heritage. Here's the recipe, too.
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Pasties: The Meaty Center Of 'Yooper' Food

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Pasties: The Meaty Center Of 'Yooper' Food

Pasties: The Meaty Center Of 'Yooper' Food

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  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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Miners have hearty appetites. They work hard during the cold Michigan mornings. So when the whistle blows for lunch, it's time for a pasty. That's a turnover filled with meat, potatoes, onions and spices. It was brought here by immigrant miners from Cornwall, England.

(Soundbite of a bell)

HANSEN: Are you Peter?

Mr. PETER LAWRY (Co-Owner, Lawry's Pasty Shop): I am.

HANSEN: I'm Liane Hansen from NPR.

Mr. PETER LAWRY: Hi, Liane.

HANSEN: Peter Lawry.

Mr. PETER LAWRY: It's a pleasure to meet you.

HANSEN: Thank you. What time did you come to work today?

Mr. PETER LAWRY: We were here about 5:30 or so.

HANSEN: We visited Lawry's Pasty Shop in Marquette. Peter Lawry runs the three-generation family business that's been in this area since 1946. His ancestors worked the mines around the turn of the century.

Mr. MIKE LAWRY (Co-Owner, Lawry's Pasty Shop): Hi, there.

HANSEN: You're Mike?

Mr. MIKE LAWRY: I'm Mike, yeah.

HANSEN: And you own the original shop.

Mr. MIKE LAWRY: The original, yup.

HANSEN: Mike is Peter's younger brother. He's usually at his own shop farther down U.S.-41. His grandmother opened it near the mines of Ishpeming.

Mr. MIKE LAWRY: We'll have a taste test now. You could tell us who wins.

(Soundbite of laughter)

HANSEN: You always compete like this, you two?

Mr. MIKE LAWRY: Pretty much. Pretty much. We're only 13 months apart, so we grew up wrestling and throwing each other over furniture.

(Soundbite of dishes)

Mr. PETER LAWRY: My brother and my sister and I started making pasties, in about third grade in the summertimes with our grandma. We'd have to go in the cooler and dip the potatoes out of a big bucket, because it was cold and nobody wanted to do it. So we'd go get the potatoes and that's how we learned how. And then when we made our first couple pasties, we'd go spend the night at grandma's house and eat our pasties and show our grandpa, you know, how we did.

HANSEN: Meat, onions, potatoes and rutabaga are mixed in a tub. Peter shakes in spices. The mixture is scooped into the dough, this is called gobbing. Mike folds the crust over the stuffing, then shows off his special technique to seal it up.

Mr. MIKE LAWRY: I like to, when I'm teaching people, say it's kind of like a wave where you roll the top over the bottom. It's like a wave rolling in on shore.

HANSEN: So and now it looks like a turnover with a bit of a wavy braid on top.

Mr. MIKE LAWRY: With the roll on the outside.




Mr. MIKE LAWRY: That's the part that people like to break off and dip in ketchup.

(Soundbite of laughter)

HANSEN: Smell that.

Mr. PETER LAWRY: Isn't that wonderful?

HANSEN: Meats and piecrust.

Mr. PETER LAWRY: And no other - yeah. Although, I'll tell you, it's wonderful in the morning when you're hungry, when you go home in the afternoon and your wife says, oh, you smell like a pasty again, and it's a little different.

Mr. MIKE LAWRY: Funny, sometimes when you go to the bank with our deposits in the morning, the ladies in there will tell us that our money smells like pasties and it makes them hungry.

(Soundbite of laughter)

HANSEN: We're having some pasties after the show and you can find a recipe from Peter and Mike Lawry on our Web site,

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