Thanksgiving food traditions

This year Thanksgiving Day falls on the November 26th – the fourth Thursday in November. This day was first set in stone back in 1939, by President Franklin D.Roosevelt, before the event became a national holiday in 1941. Seen as the start of the holiday season for many, Americans find Thanksgiving as important as Christmas –  with more Americans choosing to celebrate Thanksgiving than do Christmas.

Aside from annual parades, American football and family gatherings, Thanksgiving is all about the foodie traditions. Traditions form a big part of Thanksgiving meals across America, with many different families choosing to celebrate in their own ways.

The all-American feast

The ultimate in traditional all-American Thanksgiving meals features a giant, perfectly roasted golden turkey front and centre, with a selection of delicious sides. These can include everything from cheesy grits and cornbread to roasted sweet potato pies and an array of casseroles, with dinner rolls on hand to mop up all of the wonderful flavours. For dessert, nothing says traditional American more than an apple pie, or a pumpkin pie studded with walnuts.

In recent years, however, the traditional Thanksgiving feast has adopted many new avenues and inspirations, from brown butter mashed potatoes to apple-walnut stuffing with salted caramel peanut butter fudge pie to top it all off. How good does that pie sound!

Regional variations

Different areas within America also take on different foodie traditions. New England natives may introduce Kenyon Johnnycakes, a firm cornmeal cake, while those in South Carolina may opt for buttermilk biscuits and collard greens to accompany their golden Turkey. The stuffing is another big difference between a lot of Thanksgiving meals, particularly regionally. The stuffing could include apples, chestnuts, raisins and a selection of vegetables, as well as sausage or the turkey’s giblets.

The fun doesn’t stop when the big dinner is over. Desserts play a pivotal role in the success of a Thanksgiving meal. From spiced sugar cookies to pecan pie, pumpkin rolls and caramel apple cheesecakes, no Thanksgiving feast is complete without a table heavy with sweet treats.

There are some slightly more unusual Thanksgiving traditions that come along with this American holiday. Every year the President of the USA grants a turkey a presidential pardon, and supposedly some areas of America are becoming more fond of a ‘turducken’ when it comes to their Thanksgiving dinner – which involves a turkey, stuffed with a duck, stuffed with a chicken. A whopping 91% of Americans choose to eat turkey on Thanksgiving Day though, so the turducken isn’t quite taking over just yet. The humble turkey is still the King of Thanksgiving!


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