In their United States of Thanksgiving feature, the NY Times declared that in Minnesota, the Thanksgiving table isn't complete without a hearty bowl of creamy grape salad.
Grape salad, you may be horrified to discover, consists of: grapes, sour cream, brown sugar, and pecans (optional). Other recipes include cream cheese, and even more (granulated) sugar, on top of all that. And unless you throw some marshmallows on top and transport yourself back to the 1950s, no one is serving this at Thanksgiving dinner. Not even Minnesotans.
Okay, maybe one Minnesotan. The NY Times—a paper where trends often rise and fall on the word of one person—had just one source on this "grape salad" thing: a Minnesota-born heiress, who told them "it was always part of the holiday buffet in her family."
Gothamist contributor Scott Heins was born and bred in Minnesota, and tells us, "I've never had this dish—it's definitely not a Thanksgiving standby. I've never had a friend or family member or acquaintance say, 'Hey I'm making some grape salad,'or 'I just had some great grape salad.'" This was the first Heins has ever heard of grape salad in his entire life. As for what the Times should have picked for his home state? "Definitely should have been some sort of wild rice dish."
Other Minnesotans have also reacted, including the paper's own David Carr, who posted on Facebook, "Grape. Salad. Grape Salad! May a hail of tater tots mercilessly bury you. Where do I start the petition? I ask you fellow Minnesotans, grab your lanterns and pitchforks and let's make them put those grapes, um, well, that wouldn't be Minnesota nice, would it?"
Our guesstimate on how many rustic Brooklyn restaurants are currently adding Grape Salad to the menu: 7.