Once again, Minnesota finds itself saddled with a curious salad.
You may recall when a mélange of green grapes, sour cream and brown sugar was heralded by the New York Times in November 2014 as a traditional fave at Thanksgiving. “Epic fail” is the phrase that lingers.
This time, it’s a bowl full of ground beef, Nacho Cheese Dorito chips, iceberg lettuce, a can of black olives, Cheddar cheese, chopped tomatoes and a package of taco seasoning.
So far, fairly typical, if not low-sodium.
Here’s the kicker: It’s bound together with French dressing.
This, apparently, is Minnesota Taco Salad, and it’s proving a puzzler in one of Buzzfeed’s latest 12-question quizzes, “This Food Test Will Determine If You’re Actually From Minnesota.”
Scores of 11 out of 12 abound. But people are tripping on choosing on the “two essential components of a good Minnesota Taco Salad.” The answer of “Nacho Cheese Doritos and French Dressing” seems as odd as the option involving cream of mushroom soup.
BuzzFeed didn’t respond to a query about the salad’s provenance, having already moved on to its next quiz, “Are You Lying When You Say You ‘Love’ Kale?”
But some online sleuthing revealed several references to Minnesota Taco Salad that suggest that it once was a staple of potlucks, whether in a church basement or on a family reunion’s picnic table.
It still may be.
Yet one BuzzFeed commenter provided a clue to the salad’s spot on the state’s culinary timeline, noting that she works in an assisted living center, “and when we make taco salads, about 80 percent have theirs with French dressing.”
Who knows? Maybe French dressing is the key to making lutefisk taste good. □