Monday, July 14, 2014


Four characteristic, nay, iconic 
delicacies (porketta, potica, 
Pasty/pasties, and Sammy's pizza),
Indelibly identified with Hibbing, MN,
On The Mesabi Iron Ore Range, on
Western edge of the Arrowhead 
Area in Northeastern Minnesota.
See brief descriptions below;
Detailed recipes on separate pages.

In this collaboratively-cooperative
And richly-ethnic region, these
Delicacies appear at special family 
Celebrations and, this past week,
At Hibbing, MN All-School Reunion.

During the All-school Reunion in
Hibbing, Minnesota, my hometown,
The Iron Ore Capital of the World,
We shared Sammy's Special pizza 
At Sammy's Pizza on Howard Street. 
The establishment now offers non-
Traditional gluten-free pizza crust.

Founded in 1954 and previously
Located across the street, we teens
Gathered at Sammy's on weekend
Nights, sharing an order of fries and,
Occasionally, an illicit cigarette;
Plugging the Juke Box to hear latest hits;
Observing and, hopefully, being observed.

On his way home from the Corner Bar,
At Howard Street and First Avenue,
Just across the street from Sammy's,
Dad often ordered Sammy's Special,
Sausage and green onions, cut into
Squares rather than slices, each square 
Containing small meat balls of spicy sausage.
When Dad left remainders on stove top
(Sans the convenience of microwaves),
We gladly feasted on room-temperature 
Sammy's Special pizza for breakfast. 

At summer picnics, Fourth of July and 
Summer birthdays, Auntie Jeanne
Often served porketta sandwiches
And potica in their backyard or 
At their cabin on Sturgeon Lake.
Both delicacies came from town stores:
Fraboni Sausage, Inc. and Sunrise Bakery.

Remainder of shared edibles came from
Competent kitchens of Auntie Jeanne, 
Grandmas Blake and Miettunen, and 
Mom: potato salad, jello of varied colors,
Hot dishes, watermelon, and cakes.

Families and friends met regularly at 
Dining room tables and outdoor picnic 
Tables to celebrate annual family, 
National, and church holidays,
Sharing cultural and regional fare.

Our senses chronicle our history and 
Specifically evoke gustatory memories.
European immigrants seeking work
In iron ore mines, brought rich family
Recipes to Northeastern Minnesota,
Spicing childhood taste buds 
As well as adult reminiscent images.

I adore my hometown. I appreciate
Opportunities to rekindle friendships
With relatives and peers and to feast
On familiar food and evocative sights.
Home is where my heart resides.

Ann Beth Blake
(c) July 14, 2014

PORKETTA: spiced pork roast, eaten on hard rolls (from Sunrise Bakery) with mayo and mustard.
L.G. Fraboni Sausage, Inc.
Producer and retailer of various sausage such as Bratwurst, Polish, and Italian Sausage.
1202 13th Ave E, Hibbing, MN
Jeanne Cooney (, Minnesota mystery writer offers recipe found at web site and on separate page in this blog.

POTICA: thinly rolled dough spread with cinnamon and walnuts, then rolled into a loaf; served best with hot, black coffee at mid-morn--or anytime at all.
1813 3rd Ave E, Hibbing, MN
Recipe at web site below and on separate page in this blog.

PASTY (short "a"): originally home baked for laborers' (Mesabi Range iron ore 
miners) lunches: thick, sturdy pie crusts filled with meat and vegetables, including potatoes and rutabagas. Stays hot until lunch, a complete package eaten without need for utensils.
Best childhood location: Finnish Lutheran Church on 7th Avenue on Wednesdays.

Pasty Recipes at website below and on separate page in this blog.
106 E Howard St, Hibbing
Sammy's Special: square cut sausage, green pepper, and onion pie

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