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.

Next Up


Curfew orders could be issued if unrest follows Chauvin trial verdict

Minnesota and the nation anxiously away the jury verdict.

Walter Mondale

State and national leaders pay tribute to Walter Mondale

Officials spoke of his work on environmental and civil rights issues, as well as their own personal stories with the former Vice President.

Anthony Trifiletti

Watertown man found guilty of murder in road rage shooting

Anthony Trifiletti has been convicted in the killing of Douglas Cornelius Lewis following an argument over a fender bender.

police tape

Police: Man fatally shot in north Minneapolis home

Multiple people were questioned but no one is in custody.

Blue Door

The Blue Door is closing its original St. Paul location for good

Two of its Minneapolis locations are still open, with the third temporarily closed.

Fire, firefighters

Fire heavily damages century-old church in northeast Minneapolis

The fire started Monday night and caused much of the church's roof to collapse.

Mike Ryan

Charges: High school hockey coach killed in fight over distancing at St. Paul bar

The 48-year-old had coached in Bloomington hockey programs for more than 20 years.


Walter Mondale dies at age of 93

His death was confirmed by family on Monday.

National Guard

Man charged in connection to shooting that injured National Guard troops

Four soldiers were inside a military vehicle that was shot at.

Chauvin trial

Walz declares emergency in Twin Cities, bringing in police from Ohio and Nebraska

The governor has asked the Legislature for emergency funding for the additional police.

derek chauvin court - closing arguments

Closing arguments in Derek Chauvin trial: Here's what was said

The jury listened to lengthy presentations from the prosecution and defense.