The New York Times is back to weigh in on your Wisconsin Thanksgiving traditions.
The newspaper caused quite a stir last week, when it posted that Wild Rice With Mushrooms is the recipe that best represents a Wisconsin Thanksgiving. (Yeah, weird, we know.) We asked readers for alternatives, which yielded reasonable suggestions like cranberry relish (we are the nation’s largest producer of cranberries, after all) and, well, beer.
Cheese would have been a solid option, too, NYT.
Tuesday's Times article looks at Thanksgiving recipes Googled in each state, revealing recipes that are “unusually popular” in each locale. Staff at the newspaper thought this would be a more “democratic” way to identify popular recipes, likely a reaction to the slew of negative responses that flew their way after last week’s article (Minnesotans were particularly piqued at the Times for assigning "Grape Salad" to the Gopher State).
Oddly enough, though, the Times didn’t base its list off which search was the most popular in each state. Instead, the newspaper looked at comparative popularity. Basically, it wanted to see what recipe Wisconsinites searched for more often than people from other states. For example, “turkey” may be the most popular Thanksgiving search in Wisconsin, but Wisconsinites search for “brownberry stuffing” much more than anyone else.
Yep, that’s the verdict. According to the New York Times, the most “distinct” Thanksgiving recipe search in Wisconsin is brownberry stuffing.
The newspaper looked at 10 years of search history and focused on searches made during the week of Thanksgiving. Apparently, we searched for “brownberry stuffing” 23 times more than anyone else.
Brownberry, which started out selling bread but now offers a variety of products — including three varieties of brownberry stuffing — was founded in Oconomowoc, so the stuffing definitely qualifies as a “local” dish.
The rest of the top ten is distinctly sweets-heavy. It includes snicker apple salad, pumpkin torte, cranberry fluff, taffy apple salad and cherry crisp.
Our neighbors in Illinois and Michigan searched for Hawaiian salad and cheesy potatoes, respectively.
The Times wrote that, “You should not interpret the dishes here as the most iconic Thanksgiving recipes in each state, or even a state's favorite dish.” The article pointed out that some recipes may be such a central part of a state’s culture that people don’t need to search for it.
Maybe that’s where Wisconsin’s cranberry relish comes in.