Is “Casserole” the New “Hot Dish” in MN? Google Trends Says So.
It seems that it may be time to hang up our pride in hot dish...
I was scrolling through the Minnesota thread of Reddit recently when I stumbled across an interesting post. "I was talking with a native Minnesotan, and they used the phrase 'ham wild,'" shared Reddit user Gingevere. "They had never heard 'hog wild.' Google says this quirk is practically only in MN. How did this happen?"
The post was accompanied by a screenshot of a Google Trends comparison of the terms "hog wild" vs "ham wild." ("Hog wild," for the record, is informal, North American slang for "extremely enthusiastic" or "out of control.") Sure enough, a screenshot from Google Trends reveals that Minnesota is the only other state besides Texas that uses the term "ham wild" online.
The screenshot shows the online usage of "ham wild" and "hog wild" since 2004 (as far back as Google Trends will go), with Minnesota being the state to Google "ham wild" the most. It's unclear if Minnesotans have the term mixed up with "hog wild" or if we simply Google terms like "ham wild rice soup" "ham and wild rice soup" and "honey baked ham" more than every other states.
Curious to dive further into some common Minnesota-isms, I turned to one we take a great deal of pride in -- the hot dish. Plugging both "casserole" and "hot dish" into Google Trends for comparison, I was rather dumbfounded by what I found. Since 2004, the online use of "casserole" (in blue below) has steadily increased while the use of "hot dish" (in red below) has made no change at all.
Google Trends further broke down the interest of hot dish versus casserole by metro areas (not entirely accurately -- according to Google Trends, St. Cloud falls in the "Minneapolis-St. Paul" metro area). St. Cloud has a 100% interest in casserole over hot dish over the 17 year data period available.
Furthermore, while Google searches for "hot dish" have yielded generic results like "hotdish," "tator tot hot dish" and "Minnesota hot dish," searches for "casserole" have yielded far more interesting and appetizing results such as "chicken casserole," "potato casserole," "egg casserole" and "breakfast casserole." While some may argue that "hot dish" is uniquely specific and local to Minnesota, one can infer that Minnesotans are -- in fact -- far more interested in and agreeable towards casserole than they let on.
All this to say -- I know we Minnesotans take great pride in our unique local-isms such as Duck Duck Grey Duck and hot dish. However, it may be time to finally admit that we're not as loyal as we like to think we are, and it's time to let go -- casserole really is the new hot dish.