Monday, March 16, 2009

Fun Food Terms!

Here's an odd little survey about food:

Do you know of the meal "haystacks"?
Are you a Seventh-day Adventist?

Please mark the appropriate answer in the poll above.

Please add any commentary to this post. Especially if you know the term but you aren't SDA. (And any controversial commentary on best/worst ingredients)

Literalminded makes an excellent point in his comment. The poll question, as is, is unnecessarily cryptic.

In the Sevvie culture a haystack is just another name for a taco salad. Pretty much. But the question isn't if you know what a taco salad is. It's about the term haystack. Have you used it or heard it used in this way?

Here's how I make mine:

- A bed of corn chips (usually Tostitos or Doritos or Fritos or... whatever -- flavored or not. dun't matter.)

- Crush the chips by flattening them with your hand.

- Scoop on heated beans or chili.

- Grated cheese. (cheddar/mozzarella/colby/monteray jack...)

- Shredded lettuce.

- Tomato

- Onions

- Sour cream

- Salsa

They're best once the chips get soggy.

YMMV — if you hate something I've said here, speak up in the comments.


  1. Not sure about best/worst ingredients, but I know they vary widely by state. In Idaho, I was given potatoes as a component (shocking, right?). Outside Minneapolis, rice was traditionally served on the side. When the family moved to rural northern Minneasota, rice was stackable.

    Our family likes diced cucumber on top, something I rarely see.

  2. I may have to change my vote if you reveal your denotation for haystack as a food and it doesn't match mine.

  3. potatoes? no. i will not allow it. i've made them with cucumbers before. adds good body.

    an important point, literal.

  4. For me, cheese must go on top of the chips and underneath the beans, because then the beans can melt the cheese better and I suppose bind the chips to the rest. I'm partial to a dash of Dorothy Lynch, though I know this is a bit too sweet/froofy for a hearty haystack.

    And I've crushed my chips with another plate as well.


  5. Okay, I'm totally lost. I looked at the poll and thought: haystacks? I know what they are, but everybody bales hay nowadays. And what the heck do Social Democrats have to do with it?

    But fortunately before selecting option number 2 I saw the beginning of the post: Do you know of the meal "haystacks"?
    Are you a Seventh-day Adventist?

    Oooookay. They're only a "meal" for cattle, horses, and such. But I'm definitely not an Adventist. So I chose option 4.

  6. Following up on The Ridger's comment, it's quite common for "haystack" and "hay bale" to be used synonymously, e.g.

    It's also common for "haystack" to mean a stack of bales, as exemplified in the Wikipedia article on hay: "the cured hay is gathered up in some form (usually by some type of baling process) and placed for storage into a haystack".

    So "haystack" and "hay bale" are not mutually exclusive.

  7. yes -- this is a poorly worded question. even with the post as 'explanation.'

    i'll leave it out of my dissertation.

  8. OK, I've changed my vote. My meaning for haystack was a treat somewhat like a peanut-butter Rice Krispie treat, but made with (I think) chow mein noodles.

  9. I've heard of hash browns being referred to as haystacks, which is convenient considering that they do look rather haystackish.

  10. In my adopted (Indiana) world, this is called Texas Straw Hat, and uses Fritos, not taco chips. I'll go out on a limb and admit I don't know what the hell SDA means.

  11. I also have only heard of "haystacks" as a butterscotch and chow-mein noodle cookie.

  12. i think i have heard of the haystack cookies.

  13. I am frequently disgusted by friends in the mid-Michigan area that use baked beans for their haystack base. I don't know if the fact that they are Caucasian has anything to do with it. Whenever I am invited over and I know they are having haystacks I always bring my own beans. I usually bring my own salsa as well.

    The cheese must melt and a good salsa are two things that make a great haystack. Avocados are good. "Spanish" style rice can be added. No lettuce or sour cream.

  14. i first encountered them with baked beans in north dakota. i was disgusted and my friend couldn't understand why. he thought that's how everybody made them.

  15. Mmm, I love haystacks (i am a seventh-day adventist), but I eat them differently than most.

    I heat up some refried beans, grate some cheese, tear some lettuce, get some tortilla chips or fritos scoops if i can, and put them all on a plate (seperated). Then i get the chip/scoop and put some beans/lettuce/cheese on it and eat it. Delicious

  16. I thought my in-laws were the only ones who used baked beans on haystacks in MI. First time I saw them opening a can of baked beans for haystacks, I thought I was going to gag. When my family and theirs get together, we have two pots of beans, one of baked beans for them, and one of slow-cooked pinto beans, perfectly salted and melt in your mouth soft for us. We are the clear winners in this.

    Olives are good to put on top as well.

  17. I'm eating a bit of haystacks right now and yes I'm SDA. The university cafeteria has them every Sunday.

  18. I would love to know the history of haystacks. I am from the south and have been eating them for at least 35 years.
    Corn chips, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, always pinto beans, cheese, sour cream, salsa. (my son-in law uses ketsup)

  19. I am an SDA, which stands for the Christian denomination "Seventh-day Adventist." I first ate haystacks about the year 1980 at Walla Walla College, Washington. the first time my wife had them was at Blue Mountain Academy,Hamburg, PA--the year 1974. I haven't seen the food on Taco Bell's menu yet or any other restaruant. I think it may be like the "Special K Roast," uniquely Adventist. The basic ingredients I have seen, which hasn't changed: corn chips, beans, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and black olives,topped with sour cream and/or salsa. Facebook has the group,"Haystacks!HaystacksHaystacks!" with nearly 7,000 members.


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