'New York Times' Thanksgiving Dishes By State Has Some Hilarious Suggestions for Turkey Day
Everyone has some seriously inexplicably weird dishes that appear on the buffet table every Thanksgiving, with no one willing to claim ownership of the lukewarm macaroni salad sitting forlornly on the corner. But the New York Times article about Thanksgiving side dish recipes for each state? Let's just say that the people of Minnesota aren't exactly scrambling to show their love for the state's alleged favorite "grape salad."
The piece ran on Tuesday, and it quickly raised eyebrows across the internet. The idea was to cover Thanksgiving recipes that "evoke each of the 50 states (and D.C. and Puerto Rico)," but with the challenge of finding 52 unique dishes that also represent each state, the Times might have bitten off more than it can chew. An amazingly hilarious NPR piece divides the recipes into four categories: "delicious-sounding traditional dish," "plausibly regional spin on a classic," "Local Ingredient/Dish-Based Thing That There's No Rule Saying You CAN'T Serve on Thanksgiving," and the source of all the weirdness, "I Dunno (Let's Punt)." The NPR article is supposed to be funny, but to be honest these categories are actually really accurate. Would you really serve Grape Salad for Thanksgiving? If the answer is yes, you might need to take a look at your life choices.
Most of the recipes are normal, like DC's Garam Masala Pumpkin Tart or North Carolina's Sweet Potato Cornbread. New York, of course, got the coveted Double Apple Pie. I'm not saying there's bias or anything, but the paper is called the New York Times... Ahem.
Anyway, the big, well-populated states get your average traditional dishes, but when you get into places the author clearly hasn't visited, things get a little funky. For instance, as a born-and-raised Georgia resident, I can assure you that pecan pie is not "what pumpkin, mince, and apple pies are to the Northern version of the meal." Crazily enough, we just eat pumpkin, mince, and apple pies. Also, we don't have pecan trees growing in every backyard. Not sure where that idea came from. Even though we don't eat sleep and breathe corn-syrup-soaked pecans like the article implies, at least they chose something normal for Georgia. Maryland got Sauerkraut and Apples, poor thing, and Ohio is apparently best represented by English Pea and Onion salad. Worst of all, Minnesota got saddled with the aforementioned Grape Salad, which is just grapes covered in sour cream and then heated up.
Also, side note: Iowa got Thanksgiving Cookies, which sounds normal, but apparently they require the "arms of a sturdy farm wife" to make. Looks like all the Iowan city-slickers are going to have to sit this recipe out.Be sure to read NPR's full (incredible) critique of the piece, because as a Minnesotan, the author is horrified in a way that I just can't match. To see what strange state food you're apparently required to make every Thanksgiving, check out the original NYT article.