Haystacks: Crowdsourcing Deconstruction


Regarding haystacks (a staple dish of a distinct cultural community :) )
Feel free to respond to any or all of the following.

1. What is the shortest and most succinct definition of what they are?
2. What is the most underrated ingredient?
3. Most overrated ingredient?
4. Optimal order for creating one?

Thanks, and a jolly night to all of you.


Patrick P.

1. Taco Salad
2. Lettuce
3. Salsa
4. Chips, rice (if used), corn (if used), beans, cheese, lettuce, tomato, avocado, onion, olive, cilantro, sour cream, salsa/ketchup

Kimberly N. W.
Ya taco salad is a good description or glorified nachos. 
Order: chips, beans, cheese (so it melts a bit from the heat) lettuce,tomato, onion, olive, then sauces . I personally like a little sour cream and ketchup . A sauce to try on haystacks, and it's good, is a sweet chili sauce . It adds a spicy sweet to it and is delicious

And I think salsa is overrated.

Rob C.

1. Taco Salad
2. Avocado.
3. Onion
4. Tostitos chip, beans/chili, cheese (cheese melts the beans to the chips providing a proper base for your produce), lettuce, olives, tomatoes, avocado, condiments.

Julie A.
Taco salad is usually in a fried flour tortilla and has ground beef. Haystack is vegetarian and is on chips (preferably fritos)

Underrated ingredient is using the proper chips and then maybe olives as they add a nice pizzazz to the top. Overrated ingredient would have to be salsa as it can overpower everything. 

Optimal order:
Frito chips
Well seasoned pinto beans
Cheese (that melts slightly on hot beans)
A few drops of Tabasco sauce (secret ingredient instead of salsa)
Sour cream (full fat for flavor and creaminess)

Kathie H.
LOVE the definition of haystacks being "a staple dish of a distinct cultural community" Keeps me from having to Google the definition.

Cameron G.
Yes. Fritos are the major distinction of this delicacy!!

Shocked no one has mentioned veggie burger.

Rosa C.
Love Haystacks brings back memories of Sabbath afternoons with friends and Pathfinder outings... okay this is how my Haystack goes chips (the red white and blue) homemade pinto beans,cheese,lettuce,tomatoes,chives,sour cream and homemade salsa and a bit more cheese.

Jennifer L.
Chips, beans, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, ranch dressing, a small bit of mild salsa, and ketchup. I can also be convinced to eat cottage cheese on the side.

Underrated: sour cream, ranch. Otherwise the haystack is dry.

For me the difference between haystacks and taco salad is taco salad is cold and mixed and has veggie burger, giving that classic taco flavor. Haystacks are warm and cold and have more crunch.

Janetta B.
Haystacks are chips and beans with a salad on !. Best way to be eaten: smashed fritos, refried beans, lettuce, tomatoes, black olives, cheese and sour cream.

Dawn C.
Taco salad is already assembled, but Haystacks are assembled by each person on their own plate, which means each person can include the things they like. I have lived in places where chopped pickles are included in haystacks. Other people use Thousand Island dressing. And then there is Mazidra, made just like haystacks but with brown rice & lentils in place of chips & beans. The best part of Haystacks is the ability to tweak them to your own personal taste!

Jonathan N.
As someone who has much invested in maintaining the popularity of the haystack... I have two points to make:
1. Cheese UNDER the beans, people! Melt that stuff!
2. Another plate of the same size makes a perfect chip-crunching tool. This leaves a nice flat area upon which to add your ingredients in whatever fashion you see fit (but heeding #1 above). This also leaves your hands not smelling like Fritos.

Walter C.
Use good olives! Not the little salt flavored black ones everyone buys...

Joseph L (me).

Cheese UNDER the beans...been waiting for that one. Thoughts?

My sure-to-be-controversial query: is cheese really vital? I love cheese, but the thought has occurred to that I haven't really had it much the last couple years on haystacks...and I've been okay with it. Is it more the IDEA of including cheese, amidst a plethora of other ingredients? 

If cheese is a must: what cheese?

Vicki N.
Have used cashew pimento cheese on the beans. Not the same as cheese but I like it.

Joseph L (me).

...and for those of you who might not be aware, Jonathan (see above comments) is one of the creative forces behind the wildly-popular 1844 line of t-shirts.

Including the iconic "Haystacks"one.

Check 'em out. Very cool.

That is also very good, Vicki.

Cherilyn C.
Feel free to nicely ask my madre-in-law (yes, the Vicki above) for her cashew cheese recipe. Very good. And while you're at it, ask how she does her beans. She makes extremely tasty ones. Probably the best in the world, now that I think about it.

Sometimes we put homemade chili in place of pinto beans. Cheese is not entirely necessary if you have something else that has a healthier fat like avocado or cashew cheese and olives. I am sure your MIL is among the best cooks! Go Aunt Vicki!

Steve C.
Make your own taco salad.

William W.
Kimchi on top adds a unique twist to the same old same old. No ketchup tho!

Manlio C.
I usually go with a bit of salsa for foundation spiciness, black beans (a household staple), white cheddar cheese (for melting), spinach, tomatoes, mexican style sour cream (when available). I keep the avocado and fritos on a side bowl. This keeps the fresh avocado flavor as I eat along, and the fritos are filled one at a time to keep them from getting soggy.

Sara W.
1. Deconstructed taco salad or layered taco salad (to explain to non-Adventists)

David T.
A scrambled tostada.

Sharon R.
I didn't have chips once, and used cornbread under the haystack instead. It was delicious! Add extra bean juice on this type of haystack. I agree with the cheese UNDER the beans. I also agree with a little veggie burger mixed in. I prefer NOT to use salsa as it overwhelms the good flavors...and avocado is under rated. It adds a wonderful flavor. Lots of crisp lettuce, tomoato, and olives. This dish should be served once a week at least!

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