Tubas in Wisconsin: Getting down to brass tacks

We recently received a question from Elizabeth Renner of Madison. She asked us, "Why are tubas such a prominent part of the UW-Madison band? And why are they so popular in the state of Wisconsin?" WPR’s Tim Peterson marched right down to the Madison campus to get some answers.

This story is part of Wisconsin Life and WPR's WHYsconsin project. What have you always wondered about Wisconsin, its people or its culture that you want WHYsconsin to look into? You ask the questions, and we find the answers!


Food Traditions: Lybian Mbakbaka

Growing up in Wisconsin, Zainab Hassen of Stoughton noticed a lack of Libyan representation in local Middle Eastern cuisine. Restaurants featured Lebanese or Syrian cuisine and often ignored the Libyan dishes she grew up with. One dish she enjoys making is Mbakbaka, a one-pot Libyan tomato-based pasta stew with a complex flavor profile. It features short pasta, both dried spices and hot peppers, and traditionally, a choice of chicken or beef, in a flavorful tomato broth.

Food Traditions: Estrogonofe de Carne

Cooking can help us stay connected with our roots, our family's culture. That’s the case for Mara Rintamaki of Oshkosh, who grew up in Brazil. Maria Brunetta brings us the story of the restaurant owner and one of her favorite dishes: estrogonofe de carne.

Food Traditions: Mandaamin Naboob

Corn has been growing for thousands of years across North America, and tribes have been making corn soup for generations. Each tribe has their own method and strain of corn for cooking this traditional dish. Sarah Gordon Altiman, or Niigaanosekwe in Ojibwe, is a member of the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa. She makes us a Potawatomi-style corn soup handed down from her husband’s family.

Food Traditions: Beef Cantonese Chow Mein

The Cozy Inn restaurant is an institution in Janesville, Wisconsin. Not only is it popular among locals, but it’s historic. The business opened in November 1922 and is the oldest Chinese restaurant in Wisconsin. WPR’s Angela Major caught up with co-owner Tom Fong to talk about the history of The Cozy Inn and an historic dish they serve: Beef Cantonese Chow Mein.

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