Pasties for breakfast: Meat pie ranks as America's 15 favorite breakfast food

Pasty's prevalence is linked to Michigan's Upper Peninsula

Photo of Angela Mulka

Pasties for breakfast?

Typically thought of as a food enjoyed at supper time, this carb-forward, tasty meat pie ranked as America's 15th favorite breakfast food, per a poll by, an online food and beverage directory and review site.

Michigan's flaky pastry pocket has a filling of ground beef, onions, carrots and spices. It is brushed with egg and baked and is best served warm.

The pasty's prevalence is linked to Michigan's Upper Peninsula. An early 1800s rush to mine copper deposits in the region resulted in an onslaught of laborers from Cornwall, England who brought over the pasty, according to an NPR article.

The Cornish miners favored the dish due to its portable nature — a small meat pie that could easily be carried into the mines for 12-hour workdays. In 1864, an even bigger wave of Finnish immigrants flooded the area. Folklorists William and Yvonne Lockwood noted that Finnish immigrants took cues from the Cornish population on how to behave "American" and adopted the pasty as their own.

Different ethnic groups would make their own version of the dish and the Finnish were known for sometimes substituting carrots for rutabaga. The pasty became so popular with the Finnish miners, there remains a prevalent misconception that the dish is Finnish in origin, according to an NPR article.

You can get UP-style pasties at Shier's Deli & Catering, a mid-Michigan favorite.

Additionally, American breakfast includes everything savory to sweet foods. The sheer range of diversity represented by signature breakfast dishes in each state is unique to the nation.

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Texas' Breakfast Taco reigned supreme as America's favorite breakfast item. The iconic Tex-Mex inspired dish often comes wrapped in a shiny layer of aluminum foil, beneath which lies a small corn or flour tortilla flowed around a filling of your choice, like eggs, bacon, sausage, refried beans, cheese and topped with salsa, according to

The least favorite breakfast food across the nation turned out to be South Dakota's Sorghum Pie: an old-fashioned recipe made with a filling of sweet, umami-rich sorghum syrup, eggs, buttermilk, vanilla and cinnamon; encased in a pie crust and baked until golden brown.

The survey was conducted among 3,479 respondents during August 2021.