New York Times’ Declaration that Grape Salad is Minnesota Thanksgiving Staple Turns into #GrapeGate


From Facebook: " I have also never heard of this salad. Every Minnesotan knows that real Minnesota fruit salad contains neither fruit nor salad, and instead is a combination of canned fruit cocktail, cool whip, Jello powder and little marshmallows (the colored ones if you want to get all fancy)! Grape salad! Who is this person."

You may have seen the charming new feature from The New York Times this week, entitled The United States of Thanksgiving, in which a regional holiday staple was highlighted for each of the 50 states, plus D.C. and Puerto Rico.

It’s very cute, except that at least for one state — Minnesota — the dish chosen is so inaccurate that from the response was born a Twitter phenomenon known as #grapegate.

Born & raised Minnesotan here and never heard of this or any other #grapesalad (disgusting!)

Grape Salad? Really @nytimes? Next time, consult @RickNelsonStrib #Grapegate #grapesalad #thanksgiving #minnesota

@bydanielvictor never heard of #grapesalad until @nytimes educated me on my native state. #MinnesotaNative For Xmas list, #lutefisk

Dear @nytimes we do not need your help stereotyping MN. We have Garrison Keillor. We are better at this than you. #GrapeSalad #NoResearch

Despite the whole #grapesalad debacle, I am still trying @samsifton’s turkey recipe w/ rosemary/mirin butter for #Friendsgiving.

Today, #grapegate has proved what I have known all along: don't mess with Minnesota. Hotdish, people. Better than grape salad.

Minnesotans are annoyed — some more than others — at being falsely aligned with grape salad, the recipe for which the Times got from “a Minnesota-born heiress, who tells [reporter David Tanis] it was always part of the holiday buffet in her family.”

Outlets like Gothamist and NPR have noted the outcry, including that of the New York Times’ own culture reporter David Carr, who wrote on the paper’s Facebook post, "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?"

On the same post’s lengthy trail of dissent, another resident voiced her displeasure thusly:

“By the way, Times staffers, don't mistake the mild mannered comments below as gentle disagreement. What you are witnessing here with each additional post is simmering rage and contempt Minnesota-style. As news of this misrepresentation travels from one corner of the state to another, I predict many many more comments. (I am going to enjoy reading the comments as they come in.)”

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Karen Lo is an associate editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @appleplexy.