Have You Ever Heard Of This ‘Minnesota’ Dessert?
You might remember a few years ago the whole viral grape salad New York Times article that claimed it was Minnesota's quintessential dish. Has it happened again? I was reading a Forbes.com article that was dealing with holiday desserts and it attributed a pastry dish called a 'kuchen' to be one of the "most popular" holiday dessert dishes "in states with a heavy German heritage: Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Kentucky, Indiana, Minnesota, and Wisconsin." I asked around the office and no one has ever heard of it, let alone ate one.
Forbes.com went on to say "Kuchen is more than just a dessert to serve at Christmas, it is one of the easiest and best desserts to prepare and serve any time of the year. Christmas Kuchen recipes, however, can be quite elaborate with an emphasis on fruit as a key ingredient."
So what is a kuchen? A kuchen is the German word for cake and can be a savory or sweet dessert, pastry, and gateaux. Most kuchens have eggs and flour as common ingredients while also, but not always, including some form of sweetener and/or fat. When I googled the term I got a ton of different styles and types of kuchen. There are pie-like kutchens, rolled-pastry versions, cheesecake types, coffee cake styles, even layered kinds that sort of resemble a bundt cake.
So have you ever eaten this before, can we really call it a popular Minnesota dessert or is it another grape salad?