Ok, Michiganders. Pitch-In or Potluck? Which is the Correct Term?
It seems a new kind of debate between Indiana and Michigan has been started in a true-crime Facebook group of all places. The debate? The correct term for a dinner where everyone contributes their own dish for all to share.
Pitch In or Potluck?
In the Facebook group, True Crime Obsessed Podcast Discussion Group, a woman named Casey Dudas asked this question after moving from Indiana to Southern Michigan. Her post, which you can see here, reads,
I need input. We just moved from Southern Indiana to Southern Michigan and I started a new job up here. When talking about a lunch/dinner where everyone brings a food item to share with the collective group what do you call it??? (And what region are you from??) Any Michiganders here that can help a girl out??? I grew up calling it a pitch-in, but when I said that at work everyone looked at me like I was speaking Latin. What am I supposed to call it here so everyone knows what I’m talking about?
With nearly 500 comments, there is one clear answer. Obviously, it's Potluck, right? (Spoiler, the answer is yes.)
First, What the Heck is a Pitch In?
No matter where you travel, people in different regions have different ways of describing the same thing. I believe that's what we've run into here. However, I was curious about where the term "pitch-in" came from. While I couldn't find an exact point of creation, an article from radiusindiana.com explains why pitch-in is the preferred term. In Indiana, at least.
The article says,
I think using the phrase pitch-in instead of potluck really reveals something about the character of our southern Indiana culture and communities. To ‘pitch-in’ implies that a person is thoughtfully making an effort to bring something of value, to add their own efforts. In contrast, ‘pot-luck’ sounds like a person is just bringing any old thing that happens to be available — ‘pot-luck’ is more of a take-it-or-leave-it mentality.
See the full article here. However, outside of Southern Indiana, it seems no one uses pitch in:
Chicago here, we call it a potluck! - Sarah K.
We call it a pot luck. (Ontario, Canada.) - Kit L.
Pot luck in Northeast Ohio - Cherie G. (See, even Ohio has it right)
Potluck- Oklahoma - April R.
Potluck, born and raised in SE MI - Kayla C.
I’m from northern Indiana, definitely potluck - Kelly C.
Then there's Becky throwing a wrench in the entire argument with her comment:
I live in Michigan about 10 miles from Indiana (near Ohio, not near Illinois) but I work about 8 miles into Indiana. The people in this part of Indiana call it a carry in!
A carry-in? Now, we're just getting ridiculous.
Regardless of what the actual "right" answer is, I think we can all agree on one thing...the love of eating delicious food.
Attending or hosting a potluck (pitch-in, carry-in) in the near future? Here are a few relatively easy ideas for some delicious dishes:
Looking to do something outdoors with all of your friends instead of just sitting around and eating? Not that there's anything wrong with that. As it turns out, you can rent private pools by the hour with a service called Swimply. Here are at least 3 in the Kalamazoo area:
At Least 3 Pools You Can Rent by the Hour in the Kalamazoo Area
Why Does This Indiana Home Have SO Many Lamps and Lanterns?