At the onset of hearing about this story, I was admittedly confused. “Michigan Month” is actually a thing in a city called Plattsburgh, New York. It’s a small city in upstate New York with a population of around just 20,000.
Starting on July 1, 2022, it is officially “Michigan Month” in this small town, as they recently explained on Instagram. How can this be? That’s a good question, and I’m here to attempt to answer it.
Apparently, what Michiganders call a “Coney dog,” people in Plattsburg, New York, call a “Michigan.” I mean, it kind of makes sense, because the Coney dog is a Michigan favorite. Coney dogs are popular in the Detroit area and beyond, offering a juicy hot dog topped with bean-less chili, onions and mustard, positioned on a steamed bun. It doesn’t get much better than that, kids. Technically, a “Michigan,” according to Syracuse.com, is “a steamed hot dog covered in a meat sauce and topped with chopped raw onions and a stripe or two of yellow mustard. (The onions and mustard are optional, and they can be worn on top of the meat sauce or buried beneath.) The sauce, rumored to have been invented by a Detroit woman who moved to Plattsburgh, is thicker than most meat sauces but not as thick as chili.”
Michigan Month in Plattsburgh, New York, also brings a 5K road race, locally designed T-shirts and a passport that residents are able to get stamped at any restaurant that cook Michigans. Restaurants known for serving Michigans in the area include Ronnie’s, Clare and Carl’s, McSweeney’s and Gus’s Red Hots. The whole thing has me wondering what other food we can coin as a Michigan. I’m thinking cherry pie, Superman ice cream or Mackinac Island Fudge. Let’s just start calling those things “Michigans.” Now I’m hungry.