Holiday dishes Iowans grew up with (and don't you dare make fun of them)

·2 min read

Editor's note — This story was originally published in 2018.

There are some consistencies when it comes to Midwestern foods that feed into our hearty appetites (and subsequent heartburn).

They're decadent, but not expensive. They're creamy, but not showy. They're shareable, but still filling.

We understand the value of a dollar and if that means we're slopping together Jell-O and pretzels, by god, it's going to happen.

Below are some of the most Midwest holiday dishes (OK, sometimes they cross over with our neighbors in the south).

And they're certainly not approved for any diets.

Pickle wrap

Also known as a pickle roll-up. Also known as a pickle, smothered in cream cheese, wrapped like a little baby in pastrami or ham.

Pickle wraps are Midwestern culture at its finest. Meat, cheese and a little unexpected tang.

If you want this recipe on steroids, check out Pickle Dawgs at the Iowa State Fair where this beautiful concoction is battered and deep fried.


Green bean casserole

green bean casserole
green bean casserole

Hot take: Green beans are gross.

But if you smother them in canned mushroom soup and fried onion bits (maybe bacon if you're feeling saucy), they turn into a weird, mushy and creamy concoction that's beloved across Iowa.

Not a bad strategy in disguising vegetables so we'll eat them.


Oreo fluff

The best part of an Oreo is the creamy filling.

Take that, mix it around with some Cool Whip and, voila! — you're gonna be the coolest Iowa parent at that winter school party.


Cheese balls

It's literally a ball made out of cheese.


Snickers apple salad

Who needs spinach and tomatoes and nutrition when you can have Snickers and apples and fun?

If you want a boring salad, go back to your sad bowl at Panera. (But steer clear of the romaine!)

If you want an *awesome* salad, go to Betty's house across town and ask for this.


Corn casserole

Corn casserole combines everything that we love about corn: Corn bread, sweet corn, mushy corn and creamy corn, all in one convenient bite.

Sprinkle in some jalapeno and you're gonna make some delicate Midwesterners sweat at the table.


Strawberry pretzel salad

Sweet and salty, creamy and crunchy, the strawberry pretzel salad is a refreshing oddity that is the centerpiece of Iowa holiday tables.

Jell-O isn't great by itself, but when you combine it with whipped cream and crushed pretzels, it makes a surprising delight.


This article originally appeared on Des Moines Register: Classic Thanksgiving and Christmas foods Midwesterners grew up with

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