In a state belittled by uncertainty in the past several years, one thing’s for certain: Michiganders know food. There are numerous restaurants, farms and wineries that span Detroit and beyond, celebrating the bounty of the seasons in the Great Lakes State. And fortunately, there are several classic books that celebrate the cooking of Michigan. Each book has its own unique spin, but they all share a love and appreciation for great food and drink. Read on to find out more about the best cookbooks pertaining to Detroit and the state of Michigan.
“Pure Michigan: Eating Fresh and Local in the Great Lakes State”
Pure Michigan online store
“Pure Michigan: Eating Fresh and Local in the Great Lakes State,” developed by the editors of Midwest Living magazine, is a spin off of the popular “Pure Michigan” marketing campaign that has helped attract millions of tourists (and dollars) to the state. The book, which was published in 2011, has over 150 pages of beautiful photographs and Michigan-made recipes. You’ll find popular restaurants featured in the cookbook from all over the state, including The Rattlesnake Club in Detroit, Cygnus 27 in Grand Rapids and Trattoria Stella in Traverse City, to name a few. You’ll also learn about where to find the best-of-the-best, Michigan-sourced food products from local farms, farmer’s markets, restaurants and vineyards. Plus, the cookbook details several popular foodie tours and cooking classes. This could be your sole guide to enjoying your life or visit to this great city. Read a few pages and try out some wonderful dishes.
“A Culinary Collection: A Cookbook from the Detroit Institute of Arts”
Detroit Institute of Arts
5200 Woodward Ave
Detroit, MI 48202
Although it was published in 2001, this is a classic Detroit cookbook that features a plethora of recipes submitted by volunteers, staff, and friends from the famous 658,000-square-foot Detroit museum that opened in 1885. The cookbook is a beautiful coffee table centerpiece, featuring gorgeous artwork from the museum including paintings, sculptures and more. The cool part is, each piece of art is connected to a recipe in some creative way. You’ll find over 140 recipes spanning variations of appetizers, soups, salads, main courses and desserts. See how the creative minds behind the Detroit Institute of the Arts interpret each recipe in an artistic form. You will be surprised at how some of the recipes can even serve as a description for the accompanied photographs. You can buy the book in the gift shop at the DIA or on Amazon.
Related: Best Major Museums in Detroit
“Best of the Best Michigan Cookbook: Selected Recipes from Michigan’s Favorite Cookbooks”
John K. King Used & Rare Books
901 W Lafayette Blvd
Detroit, MI 48226
Think of this 286-page book as an all-star compilation for Michigan recipes. It features nearly 400 recipes from 62 Michigan cookbooks, complete with stunning Michigan photographs, illustrations and history. This book is an exploration of Michigan’s delicacies, using seasonal ingredients catered to Michigan’s climate. You’ll find homemade cherry pies, sweet pumpkin soup and delicious applesauce bread recipes, to name a few. The cookbook also contains information about popular Michigan tourist attractions, festivals and state parks. If you really want to expand your Michigan cookbook collection, “Best of the Best” lists each cookbook that contributed to the compilation and tells you where you can buy it. A few from the list include “Cherry Home Companion,” “Best of Breakfast Menus & Recipes” and “Historically Delicious.” Start a collection of all contributors and get cooking. Pick up a copy of “Best of the Best” at the coolest book shop in the Midwest, John K. King books in Detroit.
Related: Best Indie Bookshops Around Detroit
Scott Christ is a resident of Rochester Hills, MI who is passionate about all things local. He currently works as a copywriter for a healthcare communications firm in Ferndale. His work can be found at Examiner.com.