If you attend a church picnic or potluck in the Midwest, there’s a good chance you’ll find a salad that can satisfy your sweet tooth.
If you’re in the greater metropolitan area of Fargo, North Dakota, and Moorhead, Minnesota, there’s an even better chance that it’ll be a Snickers salad. The filling treat consists of chopped up Snickers bars, Cool Whip, sliced Granny Smith apples, and occasionally vanilla pudding. Especially popular in regions of heavy Lutheran and Scandinavian heritage from Indiana to North Dakota, the salad has many iterations, including a caramel apple version.
Snickers salad is part of a larger Midwestern tradition of “dessert salads,” including glorified rice, Watergate salad, and Utah favorite frogeye salad. At a potluck, hosts usually serve these salads alongside comfort-food casseroles known as hotdishes.
Is Snickers salad truly a salad, or is it a dessert? One Wisconsin cookbook says that just depends on where it lives on the table. No matter how decadent, if a salad is on the same end of the table as hotdishes, it’s part of the main course.