Fried Walleye and Cherry Pie


Fried Walleye and Cherry Pie

Midwestern Writers on Food

Edited and with an introduction by Peggy Wolff

At Table Series

280 pages
12 recipes


November 2013


$21.95 Add to Cart
eBook (EPUB)
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March 2020


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eBook (PDF)
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November 2013


$21.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

With its corn by the acre, beef on the hoof, Quaker Oats, and Kraft Mac n’ Cheese, the Midwest eats pretty well and feeds the nation on the side. But there’s more to the midwestern kitchen and palate than the farm food and sizable portions the region is best known for beyond its borders. It is to these heartland specialties, from the heartwarming to the downright weird, that Fried Walleye and Cherry Pie invites the reader. 

The volume brings to the table an illustrious gathering of thirty midwestern writers with something to say about the gustatory pleasures and peculiarities of the region. In a meditation on comfort food, Elizabeth Berg recalls her aunt’s meatloaf. Stuart Dybek takes us on a school field trip to a slaughtering house, while Peter Sagal grapples with the ethics of paté. Parsing Cincinnati five-way chili, Robert Olmstead digresses into questions of Aztec culture. Harry Mark Petrakis reflects on owning a South Side Chicago lunchroom, while Bonnie Jo Campbell nurses a sweet tooth through a fudge recipe in the Joy of Cooking and Lorna Landvik nibbles her way through the Minnesota State Fair. These are just a sampling of what makes Fried Walleye and Cherry Pie—with its generous helpings of laughter, culinary confession, and information—an irresistible literary feast.

Author Bio

 Peggy Wolff has written on food and food culture for publications including the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Hartford Courant, and Orlando Sentinel. She is the food editor for REALIZE Magazine.


"A brilliant collection of Heartland food stories."—Publishers Weekly

"This anthology of essays on the Midwest's best and most unpretentious foods should go a long way toward regaining the respect the heartland's cuisine ought to enjoy."—Mark Knoblauch, Booklist

"A delectable read, sprinkled with recipes and generous helpings of fun and plenty of food for thought."—Graciela Monday, Library Journal

"Thoughtful, addicting."—Christopher Borrelli, Chicago Tribune

"Heartland natives will embrace the recipes, if not the remembrances of State Fair corn dogs and Lake Michigan fish boils, German kuchen and tamales eaten on Chicago’s Maxwell Street, a.k.a. "the Ellis Island of the Midwest.""—Jenny Rosenstrach, New York Times

"Fried Walleye and Cherry Pie reads like a feast and roundtrip combined taking in Iowa . . . and skirting the "tan landscape" of the "Corn Belt". The books ends in a selection of desserts, allowing Peggy Woolf to reminisce about pie, stuffed with fruits of Wisconsin . . . plucked from the tops of sunbathed trees."—Times Literary Supplement

Table of Contents


Midwestern Staples
[1] In the Midwest, It’s Meatloaf
Elizabeth Berg
[2] Field Trips
Stuart Dybek
[3] Easter Island Almondine
Thom Jones
[4] The Sandwich That Is Chicago
Michael Stern
[5] Cincinnati Five-Way Chili: Still Legal
Robert Olmstead
[6] Corn in Heaven
Jacquelyn Mitchard
[7] Let Them Eat Pâté
Peter Sagal
[8] High on the Hog
Jon Yates
[9] The Chef and the Farmer
Gale Gand
Recipe: Goat Cheese Panna Cotta with Caramelized Figs

Distant Cultures
[10] Art’s Lunch
Harry Mark Petrakis
[11] A Tale of Two Tamales
Carol Mighton Haddix
Recipe: Beef Brisket, Savory Cherry Compote, and Jalapeño Cheese Tamale
[12] Le Dog, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Jules Van Dyck-Dobos
[13] The Night of the Rhubarb Kuchen
Anne Dimock
Recipes: Rhubarb Kram ; Rhubarb Kuchen with Almond Meringue
[14] The Black Migration
Donna Pierce
[15] Eat Now
Phyllis Florin
[16] The Door County Fish Boil
Peggy Wolff
Recipes: White Gull Inn Door County Cherry Pie ; White Gull Inn Fish Boil Recipe for Home Cooks

Holidays, Fairs, and Events
[17] Thrill Food
John Markus
[18] Under the Checkered Flag
Melanie Benjamin
[19] Bicentennial Pie
Timothy Bascom
[20] So You’ll Diet Tomorrow
Lorna Landvik
[21] Thanksgiving Dinner
Mary Kay Shanley
Recipe: Thanksgiving Stuffing with Cast-Iron Skillet Corn Bread

A Full Belly
[22] The Tam-O-Shanter, Lincoln, Nebraska
Sherrie Flick
[23] What Was Served
Douglas Bauer
[24] Tomorrowland
Peter Meehan
[25] I’ll Eat Columbus
Molly O’Neill
[26] On Cider, Cornmeal, and Comfort
Robin Mather
Recipe: Buttermilk Doughnuts with Cider Glaze

The Midwestern Sweet Tooth
[27] The Great American Pie Expedition
Sue Hubbell
[28] The Old Sweetness
Bonnie Jo Campbell
Recipe: Fudge
[29] The Little Cake Pan That Could
Bonny Wolf
Recipes: Chocolate Pistachio Cake ; Ella Helfrich’s Tunnel of Fudge Cake
[30] When a Pie Is More Than a Pie
Jeremy Jackson
Recipe: Mildred Jackson’s Lemon-y Cream Pie
Source Acknowledgments  


GOLD Winner for Anthologies, 2013 IndieFab Book of the Year Awards from Foreword Reviews

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