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Lake Superior Flavors

A Field Guide to Food and Drink along the Circle Tour

2014
Author:

James Norton
Photography by Becca Dilley

Lake Superior Flavors

Embark on a culinary tour of Lake Superior with the founders of the Heavy Table

From the founders of the popular food website Heavy Table comes Lake Superior Flavors, a celebration of food culture around the shores of the greatest of the Great Lakes. Author James Norton and photographer Becca Dilley take readers on a culinary tour around Lake Superior, hitting high-traffic tourist spots and cultural institutions as well as off-the-beaten-path discoveries.

Lake Superior is a big lake, as Jim and Becca acknowledge on page one of their book, and the food and culture that it creates, inspires, and nurtures represent some of the best in our country. In this book, the daring duo perfectly captures the essence of who we are in the Upper Midwest, and their prescriptive approach for the traveler is both an alluring siren’s song and one of the best guides of its type. A Baedeker with soul for a new generation.

Andrew Zimmern

From the founders of the popular food website Heavy Table comes Lake Superior Flavors, a celebration of food culture around the shores of the greatest of the Great Lakes. Author James Norton and photographer Becca Dilley take readers on a culinary tour around Lake Superior, hitting high-traffic tourist spots and cultural institutions as well as off-the-beaten-path discoveries. Norton and Dilley document fine dining, diners, and dives; shop at farmers’ markets; and even try foraging from the land and the lake.

Norton and Dilley also meet food producers and artisans—fishermen, cheesemakers, brewers, and more—and explore the culinary history and current food culture of four distinct regions. Along the North Shore of Minnesota, Norton and Dilley ride with a herring fisherman struggling to preserve his way of life. In Thunder Bay and Ontario, the authors investigate the roots of the locavore movement in a remarkable conversation with an Ojibwe woman about native food. In the remote Keweenaw Peninsula of Michigan, the pair encounters a group of philosophical gourmet monks who make jam from foraged berries. And on the south shore of the lake, they talk with a Wisconsin cheesemaker and goatherd who takes his flock on a nightly walk—cocktail in hand. Alongside Norton and Dilley’s travelogues are capsule reviews of restaurants, insightful tasting notes, and sidebars featuring important dishes of each region—from smoked fish and skillet-popped wild rice to pannukakku (Finnish pancakes) and cudighi (Italian meatball sandwiches).

Showcasing the wild beauty and rugged authenticity of the places and people along the circle tour, Lake Superior Flavors is ideal for local foodies and for visitors who want to learn about food traditions through delicious eating and lively traveling.

Lake Superior Flavors

James Norton and Becca Dilley run the Heavy Table website and are the authors of The Master Cheesemakers of Wisconsin. Norton is a regular contributor to the Christian Science Monitor and Minnesota Monthly and makes frequent appearances on Minnesota Public Radio’s The Current station.

Lake Superior Flavors

Lake Superior is a big lake, as Jim and Becca acknowledge on page one of their book, and the food and culture that it creates, inspires, and nurtures represent some of the best in our country. In this book, the daring duo perfectly captures the essence of who we are in the Upper Midwest, and their prescriptive approach for the traveler is both an alluring siren’s song and one of the best guides of its type. A Baedeker with soul for a new generation.

Andrew Zimmern

Lake Superior Flavors gives us a tour around the Lake by way of its fare, a fantastic resource for gastronome visitors and local foodies alike.

Tim Nelson, Principal, Fitger’s Brewhouse Brewery and Grille, Duluth, MN

The big lake clearly has a profound impact on those who live near it, and Norton has created a unique guidebook that encourages visitors to seek our memorable food experiences. These aren’t reviews so much as in-depth explorations of how these places came to be, and how they thrive in a region that is so heavily dependent on tourism.

Minnpost

As much travel guide as living history, the book shares the best-kept culinary secrets of this gorgeous, rough land and its generous, plain-spoken people. With his Studs Terkel-like eye for a good tale, Norton portrays these characters in memorable detail, while Dilley’s photos render them in living color.

Star Tribune

From pickle barrels to wheels of cheese, guidebook Lake Superior Flavors offers many compelling reasons to pull over.

National Post

Lake Superior Flavors

Contents

The Circle Tour of Lake Superior

Introduction

Minnesota’s North Shore: From Smoked Trout to Big Boat Stout
Canadian Waters: The Return of Eating Local
Michigan’s Upper Peninsula: Pasties, Cudighi, and Big Wines
Wisconsin’s South Shore: The Gathering Place

Acknowledgments
Sources
Index