19 Foods That Minnesotans Do Better Than Anyone Else

What I like is that it’s mostly all starch and mostly all one color.

1. Lutefisk

Lutefisk is a fish dish traditionally served in Nordic countries, and is made from aged, dried whitefish prepared with lye. It is gelatinous and smelly. Yum!

ID: 1866163

2. Maple Nut Goodie

The Maple Nut Goodie is one of several popular candies (including the Salted Nut Roll) made by Pearson’s Candy Company of St. Paul, MN.

ID: 1866229

3. Lefse

Lefse is a soft Norwegian flat bread. It’s most commonly served rolled up, with butter and cinnamon sugar or lingonberry jam. (Sometimes it is served with lutefisk!)

ID: 1866183

4. 1919 Draft Root Beer

1919 Draft Root Beer is Minnesota’s signature pop, created during Prohibition in 1919. It’s only available on tap, not in bottles or cans.

ID: 1866264

5. Walleye

The walleye is Minnesota’s state fish and prominent among the state’s thousands of freshwater lakes. It is eaten battered, fried, smoked, on sandwiches, on sticks, and generally just as much as possible.

ID: 1866194

6. Fry Bread

Frybread is a traditional Navajo and Ojibwe dish comprised simply of a flat dough fried in oil, shortening, or lard. It can be eaten like a taco with beef, or served sweet with honey or sugar.

ID: 1866905

7. Juicy Lucy

The Juicy Lucy is a burger invented by one of two South Minneapolis restaurants: Matt’s Bar or the 5-8 Club. Both claim responsibility for coming up with the very good idea to cook cheese right into the burger.

ID: 1866270

8. Minnesota Wild Rice

Most of the wild rice eaten in the United States comes from cultivated fields in California, but Minnesotan lakes and rivers are where it’s harvested naturally (and best).

ID: 1866280

9. Iron Range Porketta

Porchetta is a traditional Italian dish, but Iron Range Porketta (made and available in northern Minnesota) is distinct breed, flavored with fennel and garlic and typically served as a sandwich.

ID: 1866719

10. Deep Fried Cheese Curds

While it’s true that much of the cheese Minnesotans eat in curd form comes from our cheesehead neighbors to the east, it’s at the Minnesota State Fair that the deep-fried variety really shines.

ID: 1867142

11. Surly Beer

Surly Brewing Company is a native Minnesotan craft brewery. Non-Minnesotans should be sorry they don’t currently distribute outside the state.

ID: 1867423

12. Bundt Cake

You have Minnesotan H. David Dalquist to thank for the distinctive shape of the Bundt cake as we know it today — his St. Louis Park company Nordic Ware first produced them in 1950.

ID: 1867436

13. Pasties

A pasty (which is thought to have been brought to Minnesota by residents of the English county of Cornwall and adopted by Finnish immigrants working in the Iron Range mines) is a baked pastry filled with meat and vegetables.

ID: 1866724

14. Kransekake

Kransekake is a towering, almond-flavored Danish/Norwegian dessert traditionally eaten on special occasions like Christmas, birthdays, or baptisms.

ID: 1866960

15. Gravlax

It sounds like a Dr. Seuss character, but gravlax is a Norwegian dish of raw spiced salmon.

ID: 1866944

16. Jello Salad

Jello salad isn’t exclusive to Minnesota, but it is (usually) what people in Minnesota mean when they say they’ll bring “the salad” to your neighborhood potluck. Obviously, the best varieties include marshmallows.

ID: 1866997

17. Potica

Potica — buttery pastry dough rolled into very thin layers and covered in brown sugar and spices, brought to the region from Eastern Europe — is another Iron Range favorite.

ID: 1866727

18. Booya

Booya is the name given to both a 30-100 gallon vat of stew (meat and vegetables) and the party that goes along with it. There is an annual “World Championship Booya Cookoff” every year in St. Paul.

ID: 1867071

19. Tater Tot Hotdish

“Hotdish” is what Minnesotans call casserole, and the tater tot variety is probably the state’s favorite. Or at least one of the favorites.

ID: 1866791

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