When Roger Adams came to Kansas more than a decade ago, he was determined to find one unique food produced only in Kansas.
In March, the Kansas State University librarian and food historian set out across the state to search for that one unique food. Instead, he found an amazing variety, including the cuisine at Main Street Café in Durham.
“I knew the restaurant was there,” Adams said, having heard about its Friday night buffet. “I had no idea that he was making his own sausage.”
Owner Wendell Wedel and his family have operated the café for the 14 years. He learned the craft of sausage making from his father.
Adams is no stranger to Mennonite heritage. His wife, Jennifer Bergen, is a Goessel native.
“I know there are small communities across the state with immigrant populations,” Adams said.
He knew he would find interesting menu items in Marion County.
Raised in the South where individual states and regions have foods they claim as their own, Adams hadn’t come across anything like that in Kansas.
“I wanted to find something unique to Kansas or something that originated here,” he said.
After his trip, Adams wrote a paper for a food conference in New Orleans.
He wants to continue his work of what’s going on in small Kansas towns and write a feature for a Kansas publication.
“The German sausage at Durham was amazing stuff,” Adams said. “It was the right balance of spices and fat. It all came together.
“It was the best sausage I’ve ever eaten.”