Trenary Toast is a Crunchy, Cinnamon Yooper Treat– Ever Heard of It?
A staple of Michigan's Upper Peninsula since the 1930's, I was surprised I'd never heard of this tasty toasty tradition. Sure, we all know that pasties are a Yooper favorite and maybe you've heard of cudighi too, but have you ever heard of Trenary Toast?
Recognizable for its familiar brown bag, the small Trenary Home Bakery puts out nearly 900 packages of its iconic toast every day, five days a week. But how did this Yooper tradition come to be?
Located just outside the Hiawatha National Forest in Michigan's Upper Peninsula lies the small town of Trenary. If you haven't heard of Trenary because of its toast, maybe you're familiar with the town's Outhouse Classic that takes place every February. Other than that, residents live a quite and quaint life in this town of under 600.
Trenary Home Bakery
According to the bakery's official website, the Trenary Home Bakery was established in 1928 by Jorma Syrannen. Syrannen and her family were Finnish immigrants who brought the tradition of bread making with them from overseas. The now-popular style of toast is based on the traditional Finnish food "Korppu" or "rusk".
The base of Trenary's Finnish Korppu is a sweet, twice-baked bread topped with cinnamon and sugar. Upon its second pass through the oven all the moisture is evaporated from the bread which gives it its signature loud crunch. Traditional Korppu was sometimes used for teething babies as its extra-toughness was able to withstand numerous nibbles from the teething tots!
How to Eat Trenary Toast
Because the bread is hard and crunchy, you'll want to soften it up with your favorite hot beverage! The experts at the Trenary Home Bakery suggest you,
...dunk it in your favorite hot beverage or eat in a bowl of warmed milk! If you're not a dunker, lather your toast in your favorite spread like peanut butter, Nutella, or butter. All of Trenary Home Bakery's toast products have a shelf life of one year.
Where to Find Trenary Toast
Making your way up to the U.P. and stopping at the Trenary Home Bakery is the preferred method of getting your hands on this traditional toast. In 2021 new owners Bri Wynsma and Marco Dossena announced a second location, Trenary Toast Cafe, in downtown Marquette which offers "a variety of Finnish-inspired comfort foods including Smørrebrød, classic sandwiches, Juustoa, Cinnamon Rolls, and more!"
The bakery also ships to all 50 states and even ship overseas, adding that most of their overseas shipments are to active duty military who miss a taste of home. I also found Trenary Toast available on Amazon but I'm not sure the authenticity.
A native Michigander, I don't know how this sweet treat escaped me all these years. The next time I head to the U.P. I will be sure to stop by the bakery to try this Yooper favorite. Have you ever had Trenary Toast?