Are we what we eat?

The lists just keep on coming. The latest rosters don't rival the New York Times' declaring that Minnesotans are known for their grape salad — confounding residents — but they have their own quirks. The Daily Meal, with the "The Best Pie in Every State" on its site, decided that Minnesota is known for "cream pies." Huh. They do send a shout-out to Magnolias Restaurant, 1081 Payne Av. in St. Paul, for its cream pies, which include banana, coconut, butterscotch and peanut butter. (

Then there's, which noted "The 50 Best Cheese Recipes" by state. Here, Minnesota got fried cheese curds, given their popularity at the Minnesota State Fair. But what of Wisconsin? Never fear; it got beer cheese soup. (; there are recipes.)

Finally, the Cooking Channel weighed in with "dishes that best represent your state." Minnesota got hot dish, which is OK, but the CC folks should have quit while they were ahead, instead of noting that such a casserole is pronounced "hoddish."

Cochon cometh

Cochon555, the culinary competition built around all things pig, has more details about its upcoming event here on Feb. 21 at the Loews Hotel in downtown Minneapolis. The five chefs who will cook five heritage hogs resulting in up to six different dishes are: John Ng of Zen Box Izakaya; Christopher Nye of Spoon and Stable; Jorge Guzman of Surly Brewing Co./Brewers Table; Carrie Summer and Lisa Carlson of Chef Shack Ranch, and James Winberg, Mike Brown and Bob Gerken of Travail Kitchen & Amusements. Some serious cheffin' going on here. This year's event, part of an 18-city national tour, will benefit Piggy Bank, a genetic sanctuary that provides free heritage breed pigs and business plans to emerging family farms. For more details and tickets to this event — cost is $125, but it's an all-inclusive sampling of foods, wines, liquors and more — visit

Trend alert

We know the K-cups that make coffee in Keurig machines. Now, a company called LonoLife in San Diego is selling 10-cup packs of "chicken bone broth" and "beef bone broth" for $19.99, getting on the paleo foods bandwagon. The bone broth signifies the craze for prehistoric food that began about a year ago and was hailed as a remedy for joint pain, dry skin and upset stomachs. Experts say the evidence is anecdotal — but hey, single-serve!

Cookie Cart offers sweet deal

Cookie Cart, the north Minneapolis nonprofit bakery that teaches skills to urban teens, again is offering a deal on their specially decorated Valentine's cookies and traditional flavor varieties. The Valentine's sugar cookies are regularly priced at $2 each or $16 per dozen and customers will receive $2 off an order of a dozen or more by using the coupon code "LOVE16" when purchasing online or in person. The bakery will deliver cookies anywhere in the Twin Cities metro area for orders placed by Feb. 10. Order online at, visit them at 1119 W. Broadway in Minneapolis, or call 612-521-0855.