Hot Dish- it's a Minnesota thing.  Virtually ANYWHERE else this would be considered a casserole.  But here is the thing... all hot dishes are casseroles but not all casseroles are hot dishes??  Maybe.

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Casseroles came about during the Great Depression.  It was a way to stretch out the meat that you have on hand in order to have leftovers.  Easy to reheat and it was satisfying.  But the tator tot part came about in the 50s, basically when those were invented by Ore Ida... they are basically potato scraps.  Doesn't that sound appetizing?

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But where did the term "hot dish" come about?  Well, no one knows absolutely for sure, but we do know that the first time that it was mentioned was in a 1930 Mankato cookbook.  It was published by the Grace Lutheran Ladies Aid.

What we do know for sure is that when you hear the term "hot dish" you know that person either lives, or has roots based in Minnesota or Western Wisconsin.  Comfort food.