A common expression you will hear in the U.P. Copper Country is “eh?” which follows many questions and statements. This expression is similar to asking for agreement. ---- The U.P. would be a great place to visit, eh? Say ya to the U.P., eh?
The pasty is a traditional food here. Brought to the Copper Country by Cornish miners, this combination; generally of meat, potatoes, carrots, and rutabagas or turnips wrapped in a pastry shell was taken down into the mines where they made a hearty, warm meal. Although I do not know the traditional manner of eating these, the most common ways I have heard are with a little mustard, ketchup, or butter.
Nisu, a traditional slightly sweet Finnish bread with a hint of cardamom in it may be purchased plain, or with a light glaze or sugar topping. I like it for breakfast with butter or margarine. Purchase it at a bakery, as I have not found any really good Nisu in any of the grocery stores.
We usually purchase both our pasties and Nisu from Roy's Bakery. This bakery also has a few small tables, so you may eat right on the premise, or if purchasing pasties you may purchase them warm and take them to your motel or campground. You can also enjoy a few varieties of sandwiches and soups, or purchase a number of other bakery products at Roy's. You will find reasonable prices with sandwiches running in the $3.75 to $4.50 range. Pasties come in sizes small with 8oz. of filling and large with 12 oz. of filling. They also make a vegetarian pasty for those of you who do not eat meat. Roy's Pasties & Bakery is located at 901 West Sharon Avenue. Their phone number is (906) 487-6166
The nearby community of Chassell has celebrated their annual Strawberry Festival for over 55 years. Usually held the second weekend of July this two-day event, which runs Friday and Saturday, includes a variety of activities. Generally Friday includes the traditional strawberry shortcake, as well as the sales of such foods as brats, hot dogs, ice cream, and roasted corn. In the evening the traditional fish boil is held. Strawberries are judged, a children’s parade is held in the evening, the strawberry queen is crowned, and a dance is held to bring Friday’s activities to a close. On Saturday the day begins with a French Toast Breakfast, and again the traditional strawberry shortcake and other foods. Saturday also usually brings barbecue chicken at noon. A parade is usually held around 11:00. This is a small town parade, so expect lots of bands, cars, fire trucks, as well as a few floats. Candy is thrown from cars and floats to the children lining the streets to see the parade. Other activities that may be held are gardening, musical entertainment, fashion show, children’s games, a quilt raffle, and an open house at the Chassell Heritage Center. Both Friday and Saturday you will find an arts and craft show in the parking lot near the Chassell beach. It is a tradition for us to go the Strawberry Festival each year for a breakfast of strawberry shortcake. Ymmmmm!