Food And Culture Of The Midwest

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate March 2001

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Food and Culture in the Midwest This report is about the lifestyle of my own life, which would seem like an easy one but everyone today is so different so I had to dig a little deeper into the roots of the Midwest.

The Midwestern states include Ohio, the Dakotas, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Indiana, Illinois, and Nebraska. South of these states is the great Mississippi River and to the north is the Great Lakes. The Great Lakes were formed by the glacial ice cap that moved down over large parts of North America some 25,000 years ago. This region is well watered with annual rainfall exceeding 40 inches a year. Hence the climate is basically continental rather than maritime which means hot summers and cold winters.

Railroads, canals, and highways crisscrossing the states have since the late nineteenth century provided the means for transporting large amounts of raw materials and manufactures.

Lake Erie ports handle iron and copper ore, coal, and finished materials (including steel and automobile parts). Along with fishing these states also have extensive farmland, and large amounts of corn, soybeans, hay, wheat, cattle, hogs, and dairy items are produced, although the number of family farms is rapidly dwindling.

In searching for religions I thought that I was just going to get religions that everyone has heard of but I found out that this region has many different religions. Such as the Baha'i Faith found in Cincinnati since 1898. They are one of the oldest Baha'i communities in the United States. Some principles and teachings of Baha'i Faith is that all humanity springs from one source, the foundation of all religions is the same God, truth is singular, science and religion must agree, and equality for men and women. Other religions are Protestant such as Baptist, Lutheran, Presbyterian, and there is also a number of Roman Catholicism.

The culture of this region's food comes from two major roots, German and Scandinavian. The traditional foods of the Germanic roots are potatoes, noodles, and sauerkraut. The Scandinavians have a smorgasbord, which is a buffet-type meal. Originally smorgasbord meant sandwich board. Now other foods are usually included. An American version might have pickled fish, Swedish meatballs, chicken, hot side dishes such as mashed potatoes, salads, and breads.

In this report I learned more about why we eat the foods we eat and where they come from. I also think that maybe Ohio has a little more to it than people assume.