I spend a lot of time researching vintage recipes from Michiana and Northwest Indiana – the two places I’ve lived most all my life. Both have a rich history of food.

Whiting, Ind., located on Lake Michigan, was a popular dining spot, with several restaurants. The best known, and most popular, was Phil Smidt’s, which started as a perch palace with sand floors. People ordered fish that was fresh out of Lake Michigan. It was cleaned, boned, lightly dusted with flour and seasonings, sauteed in butter and served with tartar sauce.

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Fried perch pairs well with tartar sauce from the former Phil Smidt’s restaurant.

Jane Ammeson can be contacted via email at janeammeson@gmail.com or by writing to Focus, The Herald-Palladium, P.O. Box 128, St. Joseph, MI 49085.