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  • Writer's pictureTeresa Conway

Minnesota - Land of 10,000 Lakes

Another Official Nickname “The North Star State"

Canadians would like to point out that Minnesota lies south of Manitoba, the land of 100,000 lakes. Sorry.

Two Truths and a Lie

The Recipe - Minnesucrées

The name of these treats is a rather terrible pun, but Minnesotans are known to love NPR and will probably forgive me for it. Essentially I made mini apple pies. I was able to source lots of ingredients from the Gopher State. First, I made a sweet shortcrust pastry also known as pâte pucrée. The dough chiefly consisted of Gold Medal flour and Land O’Lakes butter. For a special twist, I added freshly ground wild rice flour to the mix. Wild rice is native to the lakes of upstate Minnesota. In case you’ve never tried it, Sean Sherman, a Minneapolis-based chef, says wild rice “tastes slightly nutty, toasty, with hints of smoke and forest and the flintiness of those clear, cold lakes.”

I rolled and cut the shortcrust dough into scalloped rounds and topped with thin slices of the state fruit, Honeycrisp apple. This popular apple cultivar was developed at the University of Minnesota’s research center. They first hit grocery stores in 1992 and have been crowding out Red Delicious ever since. (I did not fact-check this claim.)

The wild rice flour made the edges extra brown, I was afraid I burned a tray but they were just delightfully crisp. The thin fruit added a nice contrast of texture and flavor. Dredging the fruit in sugar resulted in caramel shards for the perfect topping. These were delicious and since they contained fruit and whole grain flour, I happily ate them for breakfast all week!

Want to experience Minnesota for yourself? Then Teresa recommends ...

Minnesota is a great place to test one’s mettle. My parents bravely took four children on a backcountry canoe trip in the boundary waters. (see picture) My sister and I could not steer a canoe properly so we had quite the workout getting across those lakes.

Speaking of workouts, I accidentally ran nine miles past lovely meadows and fields on the Lake Wobegon trail (I had missed an important turn to St. John's campus.) I limped into the town of Avon without a cell phone or any idea where I was. Some kind strangers gave me water and a ride.

I also braved hoards of the undead at a zombie pub crawl in downtown Minneapolis, so much fake blood, so much fun. Those are some highlights, it is a really great state, and I hope to visit again soon. If you can’t visit then watch the Coen brothers classic “Fargo.”

Time for the whole truth

Aleuts live in Alaska. The name Minnesota comes from the Dakota language and translations range from “cloudy water” to “land where the water is so clear it reflects the sky.”

(By the way, you can click on any of the 2 truths and a lie statements to visit the source of the trivia)

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