Tribal flags proudly mounted atop a decoratively wrapped food truck represent just a few of the tribes of North America’s Indigenous peoples, and are switched out periodically to represent and honor those working in the truck. This diversity is also reflected in the cultural origins of each dish served, from Navajo frybread to Northwestern Indigenous food platters.
On a sweltering summer afternoon, I want nothing more than a hot bowl of laghman noodles to slurp and savor; to chew through endless noodles and wash it down with spicy broth; to chase the broth with a glass of ice-cold kompot; to inhale the deep fragrance of cumin sticking to my clothes and to smell like it for hours – I want it all.
Where can you find Pocky sticks five steps away from tikka masala sauce? Across much of the U.S., products hailing from across the globe find themselves crammed side by side in the international food aisle. While international food aisles can be controversial (What counts as international, or American for that matter?), they hold a special significance in the Midwest, where access to ethnic ingredients can be sparse.
As the pandemic closed dine-in opportunities and accelerated a rise in online ordering, restaurant owners throughout the Midwest adapted. Graze! Shared Kitchen in Toledo and Crafty Cow in Milwaukee were two restaurants to open “ghost kitchen” concepts in their spaces.
Midstory is a 501(c)(3) non-profit thinkhub that progresses the narrative of the Midwest by incubating bright, diverse and interdisciplinary thinkers to exchange ideas and envision the future of our region through multimedia storytelling and solutions-oriented research since its founding in 2018.
As an educational media organization, we inform, interpret and inspire in and for the Midwest and believe that our region’s challenges can be our greatest asset to drive renewed interest and human capital into post-industrial cities.