All of the Internet was so surprised when the New York Times rolled out a Thanksgiving package this week in which every state got a perfectly representative Thanksgiving dish, and Wisconsin (where they are worldwide stars of cheese) got wild rice, while Minnesota got: “Grape Salad.”
It’s green grapes in sour cream, covered with brown sugar and bruléed.
The writer, David Tanis, explained, “This grape salad, which falls into the same category of old-fashioned party dishes as molded Jell-O salad, comes from a Minnesota-born heiress, who tells me it was always part of the holiday buffet in her family.”
Noted critics weighed in. Lee Svitak Dean, of the Star Tribune put it well: “How ridiculous! Are all the other states equally misrepresented? After 20 years as food editor at the Minneapolis Star Tribune, I can tell you I've never even heard of this recipe.”
Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl of Mpls.St.Paul Magazine, infamous in these parts for carrying a ruby- and bacon-encrusted parasol through the boulevards, was heard from as well: “J'accuse! This is not from a Minnesota heiress. Pecans = the south, grapes = California, even sour cream is more likely from Wisconsin than Minnesota. I'm going to guess this is from an heiress from the fabled land of Mindianapolis, who rides through the land on a silver chariot pulled by golden weasels.”
And yet, everyone is a critic. Obviously it would be more constructive for the New York Times if we would suggest more typical Minnesotan Thanksgiving dishes, that anyone from Roseau to Blue Earth would recognize and find quite easy to prepare:
The Top Ten Most Typical Minnesotan Thanksgiving Dishes
10. The tears of a Bemidji hockey mom, spherified and served on a warm salade of milfoil, eaten beneath a canoe while singing Prince’s "Little Red Corvette."
9. The heart of a Moorhead moose as retrieved from the entrance ramp of the I-94/75 interchange, grated over thin edible papers 3M has fashioned from those responsible for the Target Canada expansion.
8. Seven Lake Mille Lacs crappies, breaded with Malt-O-Meal, fried in recycled Zamboni oil.
7. Wild pheasants, shot in a Winona cornfield, and blistered by the hot wind of the focused hollering by Jesse Ventura.
6. Golden Valley Turducken: In which Wheaties are enrobed in Cheerios which are enrobed in Kix which are enrobed in Lucky Charms and so on, until the entire General Mills product line is so incorporated, upon which the entire thing is fried, and eaten in Dayton’s Santaland, which still exists no matter what they call it. (Only those possessing a true Santabear are given a slice.)
5. Juneberries, gooseberries, and wild raspberries, whirred into a thin soup of the conduct-code violations of minor Vikings.
4. Venison baked in a crust of road-salt, served with ravioli stuffed with sauteed medallions of roof of Metrodome.
3. A Jucy Lucy of grass pastured beef stuffed with Bob Dylan’s basement tapes and Coen Bros. films, served with rage and longing so surpressed they emerge as a thin helpful smile.
2. Green bean casserole, baked in Adrian Peterson’s currently unneeded helmet.
1. Wild rice.