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Frankenmuth Foodways: Fast Facts

chicken dinnerA Town with German Character
Frankenmuth’s German look and feel is not an accident. Frankenmuth was founded by immigrants from modern-day Germany in the 1800s. But the first German-inspired architecture didn’t appear until the 1950s as part of a concerted effort to attract visitors after the town was bypassed by Interstate 75. William Zehnder Jr. led this effort. His vision came to reality in 1958 when he hosted the first Bavarian Festival to celebrate his German-style remodeling of the Bavarian Inn. Today, ordinances protect the German integrity and character of the small town.

German Fried Chicken?
Frankenmuth’s German character and chicken dinners helped put the town on the map. But what does chicken have to do with Germany? Nothing.

The town’s famous chicken dinners predate Frankenmuth’s German theme. The tradition started at Zehnder’s (formerly the Exchange Hotel) and Fischers (currently the Bavarian Inn) prior to World War II. Both built a formidable reputation for providing premium poultry fried to perfection. As Frankenmuth adopted a German persona in the late 1950s, both restaurants kept their family-style chicken dinners and combined them with authentic German fare for a unique culinary combination.

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Dec. 7, 2007 - Jan. 27, 2008
Key Ingredients Michigan Foodways. Frankenmuth Historical Museum, Frankenmuth.

Dec. 7, 2007 - Dec. 7, 2008
"American Menus" - Discussion and comparison of regional restaurant menus throughout the US (using actual menus). Traveling presentation, by appointment. Frankenmuth.

More Frankenmuth events

Host Site: Frankenmuth Historical Museum

Jon Webb
Frankenmuth Historical Museum
613 S. Main St.
Frankenmuth, MI 48734
Phone: 989-652-9701
email: fhadirector [at] airadv.net

Frankenmuth Recipe: Pretzels


Bavarian Inn

Bavarian Inn

Kern's Sausages

Kern's Sausages

Star of the West

Star of the West






Key Ingredients Michigan Foodways
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