Explore the history of Michigan through its many food festivals

Local food can provide opportunities for history and culture lessons.

There is still time to take advantage of the many food festivals offered across the state of Michigan and to learn about the history and culture of a place based on its food. As the harvest season blossoms into full production of Michigan peaches, blueberries, cherries, fish, wine, mint, melon, pumpkins, potatoes, microbrews, apples, cider and hard cider, gourds and harvesting of meat, tourists can find a festival where food takes center stage. These events celebrate the harvest season by bringing communities together and providing tasteful opportunities to learn about regional foods. Communities are capitalizing on this foodie culture that has developed around eating traditions and benefiting economically from the many events, vendors, and visitors that come to town.

Culinary Tourism provides visitors with experiences and memories of food much like souvenirs from gift shops. Savvy tourists are looking for flavor, unique experiences. Michigan continues to be a state that has a rich agricultural heritage and grows some of the most diverse crops. Michigan State University Extension promotes the many crops grown in Michigan through the Michigan Fresh campaign. 

In addition to the Michigan Food Festivals that celebrate food, many festivals celebrate the cultural heritage of Michigan like Italian, Irish, Scottish, Polish and Danish while celebrating the foods, dishes and recipes of those cultures. Communities have opportunities to share their stories through food and attract tourists looking for these types of experiences. Pure Michigan offers Foodie Tours on their website with maps in 14 different regions around the state.

What an opportunity to try some unique and flavorful foods at many of these events throughout the year and learn about Michigan’s food history at the same time.

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