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Grape salad? Minnesotans squish New York Times' pick of state's T-Day dish


Thanksgiving in Minnesota means it's time to serve up a helping of .... grape salad?

A New York Times feature that set out to identify the Turkey Day recipe that best evoked each of the 50 states paired Minnesota with grape salad.

The Times' food writer explains in a brief blurb alongside the recipe that it "...comes from a Minnesota-born heiress, who tells me it was always part of the holiday buffet in her family. "

The response in Minnesota was swift and negative.

Radio station myTalk 107.1 summed it up with: "Dear New York Times, are you drunk?"

The station went on to wonder if the search for Minnesota's quintessential Thanksgiving dish actually consisted only of running into a rich lady at a cocktail party.

Indeed, the explanation including the heiress seemed to come in for nearly as much abuse on social media as the choice of grape salad.

A perusal of the Times' Facebook page devoted to its Minnesota selection revealed no comments approving of the grape salad choice.

Instead, visitors objected to the pick and/or suggested alternatives, most often wild rice dishes. But the Times' culinary T-Day pairings linked a wild rice and mushroom dish with Wisconsin.

There might be a way to combine the grain and the grape. offers a Classic Minnesota Wild Rice Salad that includes grapes.

And – not to defend the grape salad choice – but we did find evidence that the dish is eaten in the state. This summer a woman from Chandler, Minnesota, submitted a recipe for Crunchy Grape Salad to the Dairy Star, which provides news to the dairy farming industry. Her recipe is nearly identical to the one the heiress recommended to the Times.

But there's no denying the overwhelming reaction of Minnesotans, who seemed mystified and chagrined by the suggestion that grape salad typifies Thanksgiving in the state. Perhaps it's inevitable that it spawned the hash tag #grapesaladgate.

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