Maybe this is atonement for the grape salad snafu.
After a previous attempt to profile Minnesota's Thanksgiving food choice turned into a good-natured – but critical – Internet romp, the New York Times is once again sticking its fork into Minnesota food dishes.
This time, what's stuck on the utensil (mostly) makes a lot more sense for the state. (So no, it's not grape salad).
The Times' data site The Upshot ranked the most distinct food dishes in each state that get Googled around Thanksgiving. The foods are ranked by how much more popular a dish is in one state compared the others.
Minnesota's most distinct dish, The Upshot says, is wild rice casserole. Minnesotans searched for "wild rice casserole" 16 times more often than the rest of the country did.
But this is sort of curious, too: Would a true Minnesotan really search for "casserole" over "hotdish?" (And there could be some legitimate reasons for this – maybe people looking for recipes on Google see that "casserole" comes up with more results than "hotdish," for example, so re-search with the non-Minnesota lingo.)
Either way, is it more sensible than grape salad? Unequivocally.
And although that particular item isn't in the top 10, other salads actually round out the top five.
- Wild rice casserole – 16x
- Snicker salad – 13x
- Broccoli bacon salad – 11x
- Cookie salad – 11x
- Apple snicker salad – 10x
(Click here for the top 10.)
In Wisconsin, brownberry stuffing was deemed the most distinct; but beer cheese dip came in at No. 3.
The feature was actually inspired by the New York Times piece that spawned #GrapeGate (and the mocking that ensued). The Times, by the way, did essentially apologize in an editorial, calling their choice "bizarrely wrong" but explaining how they came to it.
As for the Google rankings, The Upshot authors said the wide range of reactions – specifically linking to Minnesota's – had them thinking about what a "democratic version" would look like, one where residents could somehow vote.
We're guessing #WildRiceCasseroleGate won't end up being a thing.