When you think of dishes you can only find in the Midwest, a few things will immediately come to mind. America’s heartland is known for its cheese, casseroles, convenience dishes and American staples done with a particular regional flair. (Spoiler alert: That “flair” is probably just that the dish is deep-fried.) And while the Midwest is full of these indulgent, quick and easy dishes, those aren’t the only foods you’ll find from Ohio to Nebraska.
You see, the idea that America is a melting pot of different cultures and countries isn’t applied just to the coasts. In fact, many Europeans settled in the Midwest in the 19th and 20th centuries, bringing their food along with them. Thus, ethnic dishes like piergoies, pasties, sauerkraut and Swedish meatballs aren’t easily found in New York or L.A., but you sure as heck can find them all across the Midwest.
So if you really want to cook like a Midwesterner, stock up on your ground beef, pastry dough and spices — and yes, cheese and oil — and learn how to make these 21 timeless recipes.