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Jun 29, 2008 07:10 PM

What is minneapolis's signature dish?

Chicago has deep dish, philly has cheese steaks, what does minneapolis do the best? Im a Canadian on a foodie mission.

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    1. re: prasantrin

      Ok, I've been reading this thread from the begining, and now I've gone to Google, and I'm back here to ask, what the hell is "hot dish"?
      According to most of the sites google gave me, it's just what people in Minnesota call a casserole. There's a million casseroles.
      Throwing in tater tots got me a little more specific answers, but not much. Reading this thread I see there were something like 17, all different, brought to a pot luck.
      Anyway, is there a base recipe for this? Something that has to be there, or it just doesn't count? Or is it truly anything you want it to be?
      And while we're going there, refresh my memory on the Juicy Lucy.
      Right now, I'm going with what I come there for. Surly Furious.
      Nice to know the Salted Nut Roll is regional. I'll try to remember to take a case or so with me if I ever go anywhere. Basic, simple, and the best.

      1. re: Bobfrmia

        Yep, hot dish = casserole. There is no required base ingredient.

        The Jucy Lucy is two griddled burger patties with a lump of cheese sealed between them. The cheese melts inside the burger and becomes a burn hazard for your mouth and hands if you don't eat it carefully.

        Pearson nut rolls and nut goodies are both made here. Nut goodies are somewhat harder to find outside of Minnesota. Cases of both are sold at some local groceries.

        1. re: Jordan

          Au contraire, mon ami. A casserole, technically, is the vessel. It is also a particular type of food preparation akin to a one-skillet meal. In Minniesoda-speak, a hotdish is a casserole and a casserole is not necessarily a hotdish. The basic formula for a hotdish is a starch (noodles, pasta, or rice), protein (ground beef or, perhaps, canned tuna), a sauce of sorts to bind it (generally a can of Campbell's cream-of-something soup). Optional ingredients are vegetables and a topping (crushed potato chips or maybe bread crumbs or chow mein noodles). Mixed together or layered, the heating is done in an oven.

          While many people disparage hotdish as low class crap, it fills a need if you have to feed a bunch and can't afford to spend a lot of money.

          The cheapest place to buy Pearson's candies (Nut Rolls and Nut Goodies) is Fleet Farm. Seriously. Maybe Sam's, too, but Fleet farm often has them for 50 cents each.

          1. re: The Tattooed Lady

            I like the camo-patterned cookware at Fleet Farm.


        2. re: Bobfrmia


          Whenever someone mentions the Salted Nut Roll I think about the bizarre conversation I once had with our junior senator from our state who talked for 20 minutes about his love of it.

          1. re: jwagnerdsm

            I agree... The Salted Nut Poll is one of out greatest gifts to the world.

            Nut to be too picky, but isn’t our junior senator a “she”?

            Uncle Ira

            1. re: Uncle Ira

              The junior senator for Minnesotans is indeed female.

              Perhaps jwagnerdsm is from dsm, whose junior senator isn't really "ours" unless we're Iowans as well.

              Tricky things, pronouns.

              1. re: KTFoley

                You’re absolutely right. Now that I look, it does seem as if the poster may not be from Minnesota. My bad....

                That’s what I get for trying to be the smartest kid in class. I couldn’t pull it off 40 years ago, and I can’t get away with it now....he-he-he

                Uncle Ira

            2. re: jwagnerdsm

              And I thought he only loved "Pork".

          1. The Jucy Lucy!

            Here's a great thread for you about dishes unique to Minneapolis:


            1. There really isn't a "signature dish" that is ubiquitous in the sense that the cheesesteak is in Philly, the crab cake is in Baltimore, or the hot dog is in Chicago. (Deep dish pizza is also unique to Chicago but not nearly as widely available as the hot dog.) Although the Juicy/Jucy Lucy is arguably the most unique casual food item to the area, you won't find it on every street corner the way you would a Chicago hot dog stand.

              Wild rice and walleye are ingredients that appear frequently on local menus, but there isn't a particular dish that is served everywhere.

              If Minneapolis has a signature offering at this point, I would say it is the neighborhood bistro. Every neighborhood has at least one small, chef-owned, upscale, not terribly expensive little restaurant that features fresh, creative, local, organic cuisine. This is a fairly new phenomenon in the city, but it's a good one.

              1. Top-notch ice cream.