For the most part, Mennonite cuisine, like the people who cook it, remains rather slow to change. While some variations on classic recipes have been attempted (such as MJ’s Mennonite poutine), for the most part these dishes have remained the same for decades. Here are some Mennonite dishes we desperately want to try!
- Mennonite Turducken – The classic American thanksgiving dish, which is a chicken stuffed in a duck, stuffed in a turkey, could be given a Mennonite twist. Let’s try bacon-wrapped formavorscht enveloped in a thick layer of klopps.
- Gourmet Kielke and Cheese – Homemade macaroni and cheese can be nice, but why not try a Mennonite varation. Get rid of boring macaroni and replace it with kielke. Then mix in a combination of Bothwell cheeses.
- Rhubarb Ice Cream – These days you can make ice cream out of anything. I love the combination of rhubarb with a bit of sugar. Someone should invent rhubarb ice cream…though, I’m sure someone already has.
- Mennonite Double Down – A few years ago Kentucky Fried Chicken introduced a chicken sandwich that got rid of the bread and replaced it with, well…chicken. The Mennonite Double Down would have farmer sausage rather than a bun. You can put a piece of fried bologna and cheese inside and make it a sandwich, without the totally useless bread.
- Farmer Sausage Tacos – We know that there’s a sizable Mennonite presence in Mexico, but, so far, I’ve never heard of anyone replacing the ground beef of a taco with ground farmer sausage. I, for one, would like to try it.
- Borscht Soup Dumplings – A speciality of Shanghai, soup dumplings (also called xiaolongbao) are an amazing Chinese dumpling, filled with soup, that explodes in your mouth when you bite into it. I don’t see why we couldn’t fill them cabbage or beet borscht.
- Cracklings Pizza – Back in the day Grandma used to smear jreewe (cracklings) onto a burnt piece of toast. Why not use it as a pizza topping? I’d love to find this one hot and ready.
- Kimchi Vereneki – Kimchi, a fermented cabbage dish from Korea, is all the rage with hipsters these days. Ukrainian variations of perogies already have sauerkraut in them, so I don’t see why we couldn’t have a vereneki stuffed with kimchi.
- Mennonite Sushi – Even Mennonites consume this delightful Japanese dish. However, until now we haven’t made sushi our own. How about a maki sushi roll with ham and ruhrei topped with cottage cheese instead of roe. Or, perhaps, a Manitoba pickerel nigiri.
- Waffle Sauce Popsicle – The white sauce on MHV waffles is to die for. So, why not freeze it in a popsicle mold for a refreshing summer treat? I’m looking forward to trying this at Steinbach’s Summer in the City in June…if someone has the courage to invent it.
Update. Since this post was originally published in February, 2017 a few inspired Mennonite chefs have gotten a little creative with their dishes. Daily Bonnet readers Timothy Wenger, Stephanie Wenger, Simon Hamm and Emma Hamm, have successfully created most of these dishes! You can see their results here. Congrats!
Although not on the list, our friends at PEG Beer Co. created a truly inspired Watermelon and Roll Kuchen burger for Le Burger week in September, 2017. (pictured above).
I’m glad to see Mennonites exploring new and delicious culinary territory!