See also: Minnesota Statistics;   Minnesota Food Festivals

see also: Locusts;   Lutefisk

MINNESOTA Food Facts & Trivia

A few of Minnesota's nicknames are: Land of 10,000 Lakes, The Bread and Butter State, The Wheat State, and The Gopher State.

The original name of St. Paul, Minnesota was Pig's Eye. It was renamed St. Paul in 1841.

Minnesota Inventions: Wheaties cereal, Bisquick, the bundt pan, and Green Giant vegetables

Alexander Anderson of Red Wing, Minnesota developed the processes to create puffed wheat and puffed rice.

Lanesboro, Minnesota was proclaimed the Rhubarb Capitol of Minnesota by the State Legislature in 2008. Lanesboro has an annual Rhubarb Festival in June.

Wild rice is Minnesota's official state grain.

In 1984 the Morel (Morchella esculenta) was designated as the state's Official State Mushroom of Minnesota.

Blue Earth, Minnesota is home to the world's largest Jolly Green Giant Statue - 55 1/2 feet tall.
   The town's website also claims it is the birthplace of the Ice Cream Sandwich, but gives no other details.  I have strong doubts about this claim.

Felix Frederickson founded the first American blue cheese plant in Faribault, Minnesota in 1936. The cheese is aged in caves in the bluffs on the Straight River. The Faribault Dairy still produces blue cheese from Frederickson's original recipe.

Milk was designated the Official State Drink of Minnesota in 1984.

On February 9, 1899 Minnesota's all time record low temperature of 59 degrees F below zero, was recorded at Leech Lake Dam.

On January 23, 1963 a tank holding 3 million gallons of soybean oil in Mankato, Minnesota ruptured and flooded the streets, eventually making its way to the Mississippi River. In the spring, more than 10,000 ducks were found dead in the wetlands along the river.

In the U.S., the first recorded instance of an (organized) Halloween celebration occurred in Anoka, Minnesota in 1921
US Census Bureau, October, 2008

In 1947 in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, food salesman Jeno Paulucci founded Chun King Corp.  He rented a quonset hut, formerly a rutabaga cannery, and set up a hydroponic garden where he grew bean sprouts, and started packing chicken chow mein in cans. Within weeks he was selling 300 cases a day.

The Honeycrisp apple was adopted as the official state fruit of Minnesota in 2006. The Honeycrisp was developed in 1960 at the University of Minnesota, as a cross of the Macoun and Honeygold apples.

In 1961 the Blueberry Muffin was designated as the Official Muffin of Minnesota.

The state fish of Minnesota is the Walleye.

Minneapolis has a system of 'skyways,' or covered walkways on the 2nd floor, connecting 52 blocks of the downtown area. This makes it possible to live, work, shop and eat without ever having to go outside. Very handy in the winter when the temperature there can reach to 30 below zero!

Austin, Minnesota, is home to the Hormel Company's plant that produces Spam, a canned meat product popular with Americans. Created in 1937, some of the first commercials aired on TV were for Spam.

     Spam even has a mascot -- Spammy, the miniature pig. In 1991, for its 100th anniversary, Hormel Foods opened the First Century Museum. The exhibit of Spam memorabilia quickly became the most popular. In the United States alone, 3.6 cans of Spam are consumed every second, making it the number one product in its category (canned meat) by far. On the island of Guam, more than eight cans of Spam are consumed by every person each year.

     More than 60 years after it was first produced, Spam is still enormously popular. More than 6 billion cans have been sold!
Library of Congress Local Legacies Project Logo

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