Hot Dish- it's a Minnesota thing.  Virtually ANYWHERE else this would be considered a casserole.  But here is the thing... all hot dishes are casseroles but not all casseroles are hot dishes??  Maybe.

Andrea Skjold/ThinkStock
Andrea Skjold/ThinkStock
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Casseroles came about during the Great Depression.  It was a way to stretch out the meat that you have on hand in order to have leftovers.  Easy to reheat and it was satisfying.  But the tator tot part came about in the 50s, basically when those were invented by Ore Ida... they are basically potato scraps.  Doesn't that sound appetizing?

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But where did the term "hot dish" come about?  Well, no one knows absolutely for sure, but we do know that the first time that it was mentioned was in a 1930 Mankato cookbook.  It was published by the Grace Lutheran Ladies Aid.

What we do know for sure is that when you hear the term "hot dish" you know that person either lives, or has roots based in Minnesota or Western Wisconsin.  Comfort food.

If you say casserole, you may be corrected in Minnesota.  It's happened to me.  I said casserole (that's the term I grew up with) and someone said 'You mean hot dish?'  This also happened when I said 'pricey'.  Apparently I should have said 'spendy'.  Ok, Minnesota, and the Midwest in general might have their own "language". But doesn't everywhere have some things that are strictly theirs?

Wisconsin has their things too.  I learned this when I lived there... but it was Eastern Wisconsin, so maybe that's different?  Here are the terms I learned:

WI: Cookout  MN: BBQ

WI: Bubbler  MN: Water or Drinking Fountain

WI: Brat Fry

WI: Aunt (ant)  MN: Aunt (like Haunt)

WI: Stop and Go lights  MN: Stop light

WI: Yooper (even though that's Michigan)  MN: People from the Upper Peninsula

WI: Stallis  MN: (and anywhere else) West Allis

WI: Trivers  MN: Two Rivers

WI: Go Pack Go - at ANY function in and out of football season.  What IS that about??????

I'm sure there are more, but these are the ones that stuck out to me.

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