It's hard for me to talk about the food culture in Green Bay, WI without getting a little upset. I'm not talking about the traditional food culture at all. In point of fact, Wisconsin has a pretty amazing traditional food culture, and almost every community has something that the community next door may not have heard of, which can lead to excellent adventures. However, if I were asked to name the official restaurant of Green Bay based on the eating habits of the majority of the people who live here, I would say Applebee's. Or, and Applebee's with a McDonald's right next door. Directly adjacent to a large chain grocery store that makes Italian Bread with the consistency of angel food cake (yes, I'm still bitter about that, Festival).
All of that being said, a year ago I wasn't sure what to do with this blog. Now, I have a little better grip on the local food movement that's started (thank god) slowly but surely, I'm remembering some of the keystones of food culture in the area, and I've been able to find some great places around the state that care about what they put on the plate more than their new nationally syndicated jingle.
It's hard to stick to ingredients that you know are quality here, because it isn't something you can do all in one place. One needs to pick up old-timey shopping habits to do it. Out of bread? Go to the bakery. Out of meat? Butcher on the other side of town. In the mood for Asian? Spend half a year poking around town looking for a legit Asian market (KIMCHI, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD). It is possible to do. How do you shop or eat out here without getting distracted by neon signs? Research and trial and error.
So, let's talk about that. Let's talk about how you eat well when you don't live in the produce capital of the country, and it's winter 8 months of the year. Let's talk about why Wisconsin cheese will always be better than California cheese and how Michigan blueberries taste more like sunshine than anything on earth. Because, it's not all bad... even though it might seem like it is in January.