Thanksgiving Dinner: A U.S. Smorgasbord

Thanksgiving is here and I’ve already begun my pant-stretches in preparation for the ungodly amount of food that I will be consuming. This week we are taking time to shout out to all corners of the United States by showcasing the unique Thanksgiving dishes that make this holiday so great!

Turducken: Maurice, Louisiana
One day in a small Louisiana town in 1985, a person working at Herbert’s Specialty Meats came up with an earth-shattering idea. What if we stuff a chicken into a duck and then stuff the combination into a turkey? Out of this age-old question the Turducken arose. While the Turducken is a modern marvel, the roots of its creation reach back into the 18th century. Yorkshire Christmas Pie, a common holiday treat in the United Kingdom, combined several different types of game birds in a gastronomic method called engastration. Today Turducken is reserved for the adventurous spirit; for those who refuse to settle for one bird at a time. To the brave men and women at Herbert’s Specialty Meats–I tip my hat to you.

Sweet Potato Casserole: Greensboro North Carolina
When it comes to rich, buttery, artery stopping delights, the South pretty much has it covered. Start with a sweet root vegetable packed with carbohydrates and add butter, cream, sugar, more butter, eggs, butter, and marshmallows and you have created a sweet potato casserole. Many would call this a dessert. Many would be wrong. A sweet potato casserole should be mixed into your orgiastic Thanksgiving entree. Combine it with your stuffing for a savory/sweet combination or pour some gravy over it for something disgusting. Any way you eat it you probably won’t remember it after a wonderful post-thanksgiving nap/coma.

Hard Cider: Upstate New York
If you’re sipping Martinelli’s, you’re sipping the wrong drink. While most run-of-the-mill ciders are tasty, the variety and quality offered in one of upstate New York’s many cideries will blow any grocery brand apple cider out of the water. If you’re lucky enough to find yourself in the region for the holidays you can visit cideries like, Bellwether Hard Cider for tasting. However, with new fangled inventions like Fedex and the United States Postal Service, a crisp and tasty drink just a few mouse clicks from any feasting fall home.

Green Chili and Cornbread Stuffing: Santa Fe, New Mexico
It wouldn’t be from New Mexico if it wasn’t chock full of chili. Stuffing has always reflected cultural diversity. During the Roman empire stuffing was filled with nuts, fruits, and often chopped liver or brain. In the south you’ll find oyster in your stuffing and in the Southwest you’ll find chilis. Simply by adding green chilis to any traditional cornbread stuffing will give your Thanksgiving meal a southwestern twist.

Green Bean Casserole: Camden, New Jersey
Have a can of cream of mushroom soup? You’re halfway there. In 1955 recipe creators at Campbell’s Soup set out to create an inexpensive and easy dish that any American (woman) could make! Little did they know they would be introducing the world to a tride and true holiday dish. Travel anywhere in the midwest during the holiday season and you most likely encounter this creamy confection. Best served with crunchy fried onions and a heaping helping of Norman Rockwell Americana.

By Caroline Kellough

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