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Lake Superior Regional Cooking Defined

Living on Lake Superior for over 25 years I have grown to understand and appreciate the organic beauty of the lake. Food is the topic of conversation at the table, kitchen and anywhere else good friends gather.

Smoked Lake Superior Whitefish from Northern Waters Smokehaus in Duluth, MN

Lake Superior is the largest and deepest of the Great Lakes. Nicknamed ‘Gitchi Gummee’ affectionately by the locals from the famous poem Hiawatha, it’s the most western inland port of the US and transports grain and iron ore to scores of international cities. Lake Superior region’s historic demographic makeup is a diverse mix of Scandinavian and German except on the Iron Range where it is occupied by Slavic, Italian and Finnish. Nearby Bayfield Wisconsin, a port town that produces delicious apples and wild rice among other treasures is also part of the region.

A melting pot of Cultures make up our local cuisine

Starting with the classic structured American Midwestern Cuisine; add the savor of local fish and game, the zest of the Italian Herbs, the magic of the German spices, and the agility of the Scandinavian Bakers.

This combination of cultures along with a few more makes up the diverse culinary blend of what we know today as our local cuisine.

As the children of the immigrants foster the graciousness of the farmstead tables, the down-home goodness of the cooking further to continue which imminent style and taste that is all it’s own.

Foodie’s Mecca in the Northwoods

The most telling sign of the area’s love for neighboring food producers is artisan cheese, smoked meats, and fish shops that utilize local products. Northern Waters Smokehaus in Duluth has always been committed to local and organic producers. The community has demanded more and Northern Waters Smokehaus has risen to the occasion. A significant buyer of local cheeses, meats, and fish in the area, it is a principal player in the organic and local foods scene.

My favorite all seasons fillet from Northern Waters Smokehaus

Wild Rice

Native American Reservations in the area are dedicated to preserving the Native American food traditions. Sometimes called “a place where food grows on the water”, numerous groups have been harvesting in the region for 2500 years and have become a very important economic staple to the area. With the exception of birch bark giving way to aluminum boats, the processing has not changed.

Local Tables

In the North Woods of Minnesota and Wisconsin entertaining is inseparable from food. The friendly nature of the residents and their devotion to a good table combine to create a local cuisine that excites all senses- taste, sight, smell, touch, and even sound. Real love is shown in creating and serving the specialties that have been handed down from generation to generation.


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