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Lorenzo Cultural Center explores the state’s heritage through food during Deliciously Michigan

– Thursday, February 11, 2021 11:00AM

15 free virtual presentations highlight the tastes that define Michigan

From Coney dogs to square pizza, Michigan is known for its unique delicacies. The Lorenzo Cultural Center examines Michigan’s rich heritage of diverse food and beverages during its new virtual series, Deliciously Michigan, Feb. 24 through May 1. Fifteen presentations cover topics ranging from the state’s rich agricultural assets to the companies who have helped define Michigan food culture, including Faygo, Better Made potato chips and Bell’s Brewery.

“Michigan has a rich food culture all its own,” said William Wood, director, Cultural Affairs and Community Engagement, Macomb Community College. “Deliciously Michigan will delve into the some of the stories and personalities that have contributed to this rich tapestry, which continues to evolve.”

The series kicks-off on Feb. 24 with the Sell family, owners and operators of Barb’s Pasties, a mainstay of the Clawson food scene that has made and sold these historical meals-in-a-crust for decades. The Sells will discuss the history of pasties, how they gained popularity in Michigan and how they are made.

Other presentations early in the series include:

  • February 26, Michigan: Cherry Republic: Cherries have been grown in Michigan for much of the its history, with the state growing 70 percent of the nation’s tart cherries. On the final day of National Cherry Month, join experts from Cherry Republic, a major retailer of products made with Michigan cherries, and learn about Michigan’s cherry history and the variety of products made from cherries.
  • March 5, Faygo: Michigan author Joe Grimm will discuss the more than 100-year history of Detroit’s beloved beverage, which began with two Russian immigrant brothers. Grimm illustrates Faygo’s struggles and successes over the years.
  • March 10, What’s Fishy in Michigan: Dr. Lawrence Jescovitch, Elliot Nelson and Mary Bohling from Michigan Sea Grant, a cooperative program of the University of Michigan, Michigan State University and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, will discuss what kind of fish to catch in Michigan lakes, how to prepare them for dinner and how to maintain food safety in the process.
  • March 12, Tasty Squares: Michigan square pizza is a favorite around the state. Burton Heiss, CEO of Buddy’s Pizza will demonstrate how the pizza is made, how square pizza became synonymous with Michigan and how they gained success baking one of our most iconic dishes.

Two later presentations are scheduled for those 21 years of age or older: 

  • March 19, Bell’s Beer, one of Michigan’s leading microbreweries will offer a tour of their brewery and a history of their beer.
  • April 16, St. Julian Winery, located in Paw Paw, Michigan will give an overview of how their wine-making process works and their history.

Other presentations include an inside look at Romeo bicentennial farm Westview Orchards, a leader in the apple and peach business for seven generations; a chef from Vince & Joe’s Gourmet Market, located in both Clinton and Shelby townships, demonstrating cooking an Italian dish; and how Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth became famous for its chicken dinners.

All Deliciously Michigan events are free of charge but require preregistration. For more information, a list of events and to register, go to

Sponsors of Deliciously Michigan are First State Bank, DTE Foundation, Vince & Joe’s Gourmet Market, The Kresge Foundation and the Sonya K. Brett Memorial Fund for Cultural Enrichment Programs.

About Macomb Community College

Macomb Community College ( is one of the nation’s leading community colleges. Macomb nationally ranks in the top two percent in the number of associate degrees awarded by community colleges and is one of the largest grantors of associate degrees in Michigan. The college’s comprehensive educational programming includes pre-collegiate experiences, university transfer and career preparation programs, bachelor degree completion and graduate degree programs, workforce training, professional education and certification, and continuing education and enrichment opportunities.

Media contact: Sean M. Patrick, 586.445.7271,